Trans-Himalayan rail worth $2.5-bn picks up pace

Railway
The much hyped Nepal-China railway line known as Trans-Himalayan project entailing an investment of $2.5 billion has picked up pace with the Beijing announcing funding for a detailed feasibility study of the project. The rail line from Nepal's capital Kathmandu to Kerung on the Chinese side of the border, which commands strong strategic and geopolitical engagement of China with the Himalayan nation, will link the Tibetan plateau travelling along some of the highest passes in the world. The joint project is considered extremely challenging due to the rugged topography of the Himalayas, said media reports. The Chinese government has included the cross-border railway line as a project to be supported under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the first phase of the railway line will link Kerung to Kathmandu and under the planned second phase it will extend to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha in the southern Terai region near the Indian border. The study is expected to be completed within a year and a half and after that the total construction period will be seven years.

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