Kolkata: In a renewed attempt to boost bi-lateral ties, India has expressed its interest to link Nepal’s capital with New Delhi and Kolkata through a well-planned railway network.The move is primarily aimed at enhancing the cross-border communication network among Kathmandu and the two Indian cities.
In a strategic step to overtly counter China’s calculated push into the landlocked Himalayan nation with rail and road connectivity through Tibet, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu made the announcement today.
“We need to build the railway tracks connecting Kathmandu with Delhi and Kolkata as soon as possible,” Mr Prabhu said on the sidelines of ‘Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2017’ that concluded in Kathmandu today.
“If we could build these two railway tracks soon it would increase Nepal’s connectivity with India,” the Railway Minister said. “I will give priority to building such networks soon,” he stressed.
Stating that infrastructure is an absolute necessity for higher economic growth, Mr Prabhu encouraged the Nepal government and the private sector to rev up investment for infrastructural development.
“If you invest in infrastructure in a country with wide infrastructure gap, you will get good returns on investment. Also, economic growth triggered by infrastructural development will provide additional benefits to investors,” he added. The Railway Minister said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nepal in this regard would kick start activities like engineering surveys.
He said India was ready to share its drone technology and experience with Nepal for monitoring the project. On his trip to Kathmandu, Mr Prabhu held a series of crucial meetings with Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ramesh Lekhak, Minister of Civil Aviation, Culture and Tourism Jiwan Bahadur Shahi and Energy Minister Janardan Sharma.
Besides, he held talks with prominent business leaders and industry heads of the neighbouring country on a wide range of infrastructure development issues.