RUPANDEHI, November 13: With due consideration to minimizing infrastructural damage in Butwal Bazaar while building the East-West Electric Railway, the Department of Railways (DoRW) has begun a survey to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR).
At a time when the locals were 'terrified' anticipating 'damage' to settlements in Butwal, where a railway station will be built, DoRW said that the survey will pay due consideration to ways to avoid damage to settlements and land in the bazaar. Earlier this month, China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group in Association with EMANC Ltd, the international consultant of the project, carried out a soil test.
Senior engineer at DoRW, Aman Chitrakar, confirmed that the Chinese company has begun the survey. "The consultant has begun the survey, paying proper attention to minimizing damage to land and physical structures in Butwal bazaar," he said. The DoRW had written a letter to the Chinese consultant on October 23, asking it to cooperate with Butwal Sub-metropolis to make sure that the railway project causes as less damage to Butwal as possible.
Local representatives have also begun showing interest regarding compensation for houses, land, schools, health posts and other infrastructures that will be demolished during the construction process.
Mayor Shiv Raj Subedi said that the sub-metropolis would prioritize protecting infrastructures as far as possible. He said that he would hold separate talks with the technical team to ensure that the railroad is scientific and high-quality. “We believe that Butwal must suffer just a minimal damage,” Subedi said.
Chinese and Korean companies are surveying Butwal-Lamahi, Lamahi-Kohalpur, Kohalpur-Nepalgunj-Sukkhad, and Sukkhad-Gaddachauki sections of the railway project.
The government plans to operate high-speed bullet trains on the East-West railway. The process to construct the East-West Railway began back in 2008. But the project hasn't seen much progress so far. However, the DPRs of Inruwa-Kakadbhitta and Chauramara-Butwal sections have already been prepared.
Under the East-West Electric Railway, a 30 km railway track is being constructed from Bardibas to Simara. The government divided the route of the railway into nine parts. While the main railroad is to be 945 km long, if railways through Pokhara-Kathmandu, Kathmandu-Birgunj and other supporting routes are to be connected to the East-West Railway, the entire length will sum up to 1,376 km.
The project aims to construct 4,000 km railway track in the next 20 years. This long-term plan was formulated so as to link Kathmandu-Pokhara-Terai, Kathmadu-Terai, and important commercial and industrial centers in the northern and southern borders to capital city Kathmandu.
The government believes that a direct railway network among the commercial centers spread throughout the country will lead to a stronger economic development.