Foreign Policy Watch: India-Nepal

First India-Nepal passenger train on broad gauge to make first run in December

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India & its neighborhood- relations.

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Nepal’s recent proximity to China and India’s efforts at winning back Nepal’s trust

Increasing connectivity with Nepal

  1. The first passenger train to run on broad gauge between India and Nepal is likely to run from December this year
  2. The train will run from Jayanagar in Bihar to Kurtha in Dhanusa district in Janakpur Zone of south-eastern Nepal, which is a 34 km stretch
  3. The Jayanagar-Kurtha rail line was originally built during the British Raj to transport logs from forests at Mahottari to India
  4. No visa will be required for Indian and Nepalese nationals crossing the border through this stretch

Why such move?

  1. The move is being seen as part of efforts to counter China’s plans to forge rail links with Nepal
  2. After Beijing decided to extend its railway network up to Kathmandu, New Delhi proposed the construction of new railway links during Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s recent visit to India

About the project

  1. Nepal and India have plans for four cross-border railway links, including one to link Raxaul to Kathmandu
  2. The Rs 5.5-billion (Nepalese Rs 8.8 billion) project is divided into three phases
  3. Of the total length, only three kilometres is in Indian territory
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