Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi may visit Nepal on 26 March. Although no official announcement has been made so far but the agenda is being set keeping in view the possible visit. This report has been given by Kathmandu Post. According to the report, Nepal is now willing to carry forward the previous agreements signed during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Nepal in 2019 in exchange for new projects.
China preparing to run train till Kathmandu
The Kathmandu Post, citing sources, has reported that an agreement can be signed to conduct a feasibility study of the China-Nepal railway project. Ravindra Shrestha, Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport has said that we have received a draft MoU for the feasibility study of Kerung-Kathmandu Railway. Nepal is looking for additional grants from China in addition to the previously promised amount to conduct the feasibility study. If both the parties agree, an agreement will be signed.
During Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal in 2019, Beijing and Kathmandu had agreed to conduct a feasibility study on a multi-billion dollar rail project through Chinese funding. But two months after Jinping’s visit, the case got stuck due to the Kovid epidemic and the feasibility study on the Kerung-Kathmandu railway has not yet started. In January 2022, Ravindra Shrestha held talks with senior officials of the Chinese Railway Administration where the Chinese side said that it would take at least 42 months to complete the feasibility study of the railway project.
A pre-feasibility study of railways conducted by China in 2016 said that the Himalayan terrain could become a major obstacle in the construction of railways. The total investment for the project will be known after the completion of the feasibility study. However, according to a pre-feasibility study, the Nepalese stretch of 72.25 km will cost $2.75 billion. According to that report, about 98.5 percent of the railways will be bridges and tunnels and the construction cost will be Rs 3.55 billion per kilometer.