KATHMANDU:  The Chinese team has completed field study for Kerung-Kathmandu and Pokhara-Lumbini railway lines.

The 33-member team led by deputy head of China Railway Administration Zhain Jian held discussions with Nepali officials including secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Friday morning after a three-day field study starting from Tuesday.

Senior Divisional Engineer at the Department of Railways Prakash Upadhyay, who was part of both the study visit and Friday’s meeting, told Setopati that the Chinese side said the two railway lines can be laid but pointed at many difficulties to do that. “We didn’t know if laying railway lines was possible earlier. They have said that both the lines can be laid,” Upadhyay said. But the Chinese side pointed at geographical, technical and managerial problems, according to him, and said Nepali side will have an important role to resolve those problems.

The Chinese side has pointed at the geological features as the main problem in bringing the railway line from Kerung to Kathmandu crossing the Himalayas. “The elevation from Syabrubesi to Kerung is very steep. They said it will be very expensive to build and maintain railway lines in such steep terrain where snow falls,” he revealed.

The Chinese team, that also included officials at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, contractors and consultants, has also pointed at cutting trees of the forests and land acquisition as problems.

The Nepali side has said it is ready to cooperate with the Chinese government to lay the railway lines.

The Chinese team arrived on request of the Foreign Ministry. The team had visited Kerung on Tuesday, Pokhara on Wednesday and Lumbini on Thursday for the field study.

–  SETOPATI

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