Rails for Jayanagar-Janakpur section start to arrive

November 23, 2017 05:15 AM Rudra Pangeni

The section is expected to be ready by mid-Oct next year.

KATHMANDU, Nov 23: The contractor of Jayanagar-Janakpur section of the Jayanagar-Bardibas Railway Project (69 km) has received the first supply of rails from Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL).

Ten trucks loaded with rails arrived at the project site on Monday. SAIL, an Indian government undertaking, has to supply 41,000 tons of rails to the contractor, according to officials of the Department of Railways.

The project is being implemented with an Indian grant of about Rs 10 billion. It includes all the project cost.

“With the arrivals of rails, people of Dhanusha are now hopeful that they will be able to use the railway service soon,” said Ananta Acharya, director general of the Department of Railways, said, adding that they have planned to prepare the track by October next year if things go as planned.

The project, however, is still to receive supply of concrete blocks to be used as sleepers. These sleepers will be fitted on the ground before laying down rails, according to Acharya. The project chose concrete slabs for sleepers due to shortage of wood, he added.

Nayak Infrastructure of Assam, India, is the contractor of all civil works, including bridges, of the Janakpur-Jayanagar stretch of the railway line, while a joint venture of Kalika Construction and Raman construction is building infrastructure on the Janakpur-Bijulpura section (17 km). However, contract process has not begun on Bijulpura-Bardibas section due to delay in land acquisition.

The Janakpur-Jayanagar (35 km) narrow gauge railway line was functioning until four and half years ago. The project removed the narrow gauge rails four years ago. Now, the railway line will be extended till Bardibas via Bijulpura. Bardibas lies on an ambitious railway line being built by the government Nepal -- the East-West Railway Project.

Likewise, another railway project - Jogbani-Biratnagar (18.5 km), is also in the last leg of construction. It is also financed by the Indian grant. 

Upon completion, the Jayanagar-Janakpur-Bijulpura-Bardibas Railway Project is expected to bring Indian tourists to Janakpurdham - a popular pilgrimage site. Also, Nepalis can travel at high speed to Jayanagar of India. The design speed of the railway is 100 km per hour, according to project officials.

The Indian town of Jayanagar has direct railway services from Indian cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi, among others.

If things go as planned, the Jayanagar-Janakpur-Bijulpura-Bardibas railway line will be ready by October next year. But the government has still not initiated the process of procuring railway engines and carriages.

“We are in a consultation with the Ministry of Finance for procurement of railway engines and carriages,” said Acharya. “Nothing has been decided so far.”

Requesting the Indian Railway to expand its services Janakpur or taking railway engines and carriages or hire are the other options that the Department of Railways is studying at present.

According to the department, the construction of railway station at Kurtha near Janakpurdham is nearing completion.

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