Nepal-China railway talks

China seeks clarity on 5 points ahead of DPR

Published On: June 21, 2019 06:30 AM NPT By: CHETNATH ACHARYA

BEIJING, June 21: The fourth Nepal-China bilateral meeting on preparing a Detail Project Report (DPR) for the Kerung-Kathmandu railway concluded on Thursday without entering the agenda of the DPR, as the Chinese side sought clarity on five basic issues first.

Chinese officials asked the Nepali side to first meet the standards set by a pre-feasibility study for the project.

The Chinese side had earlier conducted a pre-feasibility study and submitted a report to the Nepal government. Chinese officials at the meet pointed out the need for further technical study of the report.

On the second point, the Chinese officials asked for preparations to tackle the engineering challenges that may arise in future.

They have also asked for an in-depth study on minimizing possible geological disaster.

The fourth concern of the Chinese side is about measures to be taken to ensure the security of the railway system. And, on the fifth point, they have pointed out the need for a scientific study to minimize ecological impact in the affected areas.

Officials quoted the Chinese as saying they can enter into the matter of the feasibility study, which is also taken as the DPR, only after settling the aforementioned five points.

Deputy Chief of Mission at the Nepal Embassy in Beijing, Sushil Kumar Lamsal, said officials from both sides were encouraged by the output of the bilateral talks.

The two sides have agreed to hold their fifth meeting in Kathmandu in December.

Nepali officials said the next meeting might enter into the feasibility study only if work related to the five points raised by the Chinese side is already done.

Devendra Karki, secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, led the Nepali team at the fourth meeting in Beijing while the Chinese delegation was led by An Lu Shan, deputy administrator of China's National Rail Administration.

The Nepal-China railway mechanism was established two years ago. Its first meeting was held in November 2017 in Kathmandu. The second meeting was held in Beijing and the third again in Kathmandu.

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