By Dhirendra Prasad Sah Janakpur, Apr.2: After more than a decade of waiting, all preparations have been completed for the inauguration of the railway service from Kurtha in Dhanusha to Jayanagar in India. According to Niranjan Jha, General Manager of Nepal Railway Company, Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi are scheduled to jointly inaugurate the regular operation of the railway service from Hyderabad House, India, at 12:30 pm on Saturday.
Preparations have also been made to operate regular services from Sunday after the inauguration. The modern train is being inaugurated for regular operation after a year and a half after its purchase. Traders, businessmen, intellectuals, civil society and community leaders of the region are overjoyed by the news.
After the inauguration, the train will leave Jayanagar for Kurtha at 12.30 pm on Saturday carrying 19 distinguished personalities from Nepal and India. "After the inauguration, the train will operate twice a day starting from Sunday," Jha said, adding that Rs. 90 will be charged for the general seat and Rs. 450 per person for the AC carrier. The train will leave Jayanagar at 8.30 am and 3.00 pm on Sunday, while another train will leave Kurtha at 10.30 am and 5.15 pm, according to Jha.
Two sets of 'Demo Trains' (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) were procured from the Indian Company Corporation at Rs. 8.77 billion. It is said that 1200 to 1300 passengers can travel by sitting and standing on each train. At present, 26 Indian and 59 Nepali employees are working for the operation of the railway service, Jha informed. Indian employees include crew and engineers.
The railway service was started during the Rana period in 1937 from Jayanagar to Janakpur but was closed in 2010 due to technical reasons. He said there are 22 official LC gates and 17 unofficial LC gates at various places along the 34.9-km-long railway line. The construction of an additional 17 km railway from Kurtha to Bijulpura has reached the final stage. Once completed, the railway line will be 52 km from Vijalpura, Jha said.
The dry run (passenger less) train from Jayanagar to Kurtha was operating once a day since February 1. After the success of the dry run, the railway service is about to be inaugurated, added Jha.