India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Nepal's Defense Minister Ishwor Pokhrel upon his arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport to attend the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit in Kathmandu, Nepal August 30, 2018. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar.

An agreement to study the practicability of a railway line linking India and its neighbour tiny Himalayan nation, Nepal was signed by the officials of two countries in a meeting between India’s prime minister Narendra Modi and and his Nepal counterpart KP Sharma Oli on the sidelines of a regional summit of seven South East Asian countries (Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)) on Friday (31).

The proposed 130 kilometer long railway line originates from India’s border town, Raxaul, located in the eastern part of Bihar state will connect with Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Once the proposed railway line becomes a reality, then it would be the second railway link after Nepal’s only railway link with 35 kilometer stretch in its Southern Plains.

According to a statement from the Indian embassy in Nepal, India’s Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd will be responsible for a preliminary technical survey which includes engineering and traffic study for the proposed railway line. An elaborate report on the construction process of the railway line is expected to be made Konkan Railway submits its final report, the officials said.

“On April 7, 2018, the two governments had issued a joint statement on expanding rail linkages, agreeing to construct a new electrified rail line, with India’s financial support, connecting the border city of Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal. As a first step, it was agreed that the Government of India, in consultation with the Government of Nepal, would carry out preparatory survey work within one year, and the two sides would finalize the implementation and funding modalities of the project based on the Detailed Project Report,” said Indian Embassy in Nepal in a statement.

“The Raxaul-Kathmandu rail line is expected to expand connectivity by enhancing people-to-people linkages between the two countries and promoting economic growth and development,” Indian Embassy highlighted in the statement.

India’s another neighbouring country, rival, China in an attempt to raise its influence on Nepal has already completed a pre-feasibility survey for a 70 kilometer railway line to connect Gyiron in Tibet with Kathmandu, making it as one of the most unique development projects in the harsh Himalayan weather and mountains.