KATHMANDU: As Nepal waits for the proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) railway linking Kerung and Kathmandu, the Chinese side has made it clear that it would not provide any grant for the project and Nepal should accept a loan for it.
During the secretary-level held on June 17-23 in Beijing on the Kerung-Kathmandu Railway Project, the Chinese side out-rightly rejected Nepal’s request that the project should be developed under the ambit of China’s BRI and therefore China should bear the entire cost, sources have said.
The team led by Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Devendra Karki was in Beijing to hold talks with the Chinese side led by An Lusheng, Deputy Administrator at the National Railway Administration of China, in June.
During the talks, the Chinese side conveyed that the cost of Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the project inside Nepal’s territory should be borne by the Nepal government as the project would help Nepal’s economy.
Likewise, the Chinese side also made it clear that it would neither bear the cost of DPR nor would provide any technical support to Nepal free of cost. They told the Nepali delegation that they would discuss DPR matters only when Nepal hands over the complete study report on feasibility matters about the engineering challenges in construction of track and increasing the standard of survey and geological study having negligible seismic risk.
The Chinese side also suggested Nepal to prepare report on the security aspect and ecological balance for the project prior to any negotiation with China in this regard in future.
As per the preliminary report of the 80-kilometer-project, it would take at least nine years to complete the project at an estimated cost of Rs 300 billion.