China to commence work for rail link to Nepal

30 July 2020 (Last Updated July 30th, 2020 10:45)

China has reportedly commenced the groundwork for the proposed railway line that links Lhasa, Tibet, to Kathmandu, Nepal.

China has reportedly commenced the groundwork for the proposed railway line that links Lhasa, Tibet, to Kathmandu, Nepal.

The rail link is also planned to be extended to the pilgrimage site Lumbini, which is near the border of India and Nepal.

India Today has reported that the project is worth approximately $300m.

This move follows the rising tensions between India and China at the border, along with the India – Nepal diplomatic row.

China is reportedly carrying out the exploration and surveys for the railway project.

The railway line was previously planned in 2008 and the upcoming deadline for the project is 2025.

Sources have reported that the construction of the project has not started, however, the surveys carried out are a part of its pre-feasibility study.

In March 2019, Nepal decided to use the Chinese track gauge standard for its railway system in a bid to reduce costs.

India has also planned to construct rail links to Nepal and six rail links are currently planned.

Last year, India proposed the development of a 1,676mm broad-gauge railway link between its border town of Raxaul and Kathmandu.

Last month, Pakistan approved the $7.2bn project to upgrade the railway between Karachi and Peshawar.

This 1,872km-long rail line is a part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and will link Kashgar, China, with Pakistan’s Gwadar Port.

In May 2019, the Ghana Government signed two agreements with the Chinese Government to secure a $1bn loan to refurbish railway transportation in Ghana.

In April, Malaysia and China signed a revised agreement to resume construction of the suspended East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).