Kathmandu, Apr 2 (PTI) The first broad gauge railway service between India and Nepal, inaugurated jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepal counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on Saturday, will further consolidate the age-old ‘roti-beti’ relationship between the two neighbours, a senior leader of the Loktantrik Samajwadi Party here said.
‘Roti Beti ka Rishta’, which roughly means trade and family ties, is often used to describe the close people-to-people relationship between India and Nepal.
“The Jayanagar-Kurtha railway service will further strengthen and expand people-to-people relations between the two countries,” said Rakesh Mishra, a central member of Nepal’s sixth largest political party LSP.
The ‘roti-beti relationship’ between India and Nepal will be further consolidated with the operation of the train service, he said, adding that this will play an important role in bringing the people of the two countries further closer.
The train service will criss-cross from Jayanagar in Bihar to Kurtha in Janakpur, Nepal.
The Jaynagar-Kurtha section is part of the 68.7 km Jaynagar-Bijalpura-Bardidas rail link built under the Government of India’s grant assistance of NPR 8.77 billion.
The railway service will further strengthen the cultural, religious, social and economic ties between the two neighbours as well as will help to boost tourism in both the countries, Mishra said.
Eight stations, six halt stations and 47 road crossings have been constructed on this rail section connecting the two countries, officials here said.
Two AC coaches with a capacity of 1,000 each will run daily twice between the two countries, covering a distance of around 38 km as it comes into operation, they said.
Financed and constructed with Indian assistance, the railway service will become operational soon for the general public, the officials said.
India has spent around Rs 1,000 crore to rebuild the old railway track, while Nepal purchased two train sets costing approximately Rs 100 crore.
The new infrastructure was built for broad gauge railway operation by replacing the narrow gauge, which was stopped more than seven years ago.
“Jayanagar–Kurtha passenger train will be the first broad gauge train service between Nepal and India, which will play an important role in bringing the peoples of the two countries closer,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
“Prime Minister Deuba and I agreed to give priority for all types of cross border connectivity between the two countries,” he said, adding that the Jayanagar – Kurtha railway line is part of the beginning of this initiative.
Prime Minister Deuba is on his maiden visit to India from Friday to further strengthen the multifaceted, age-old and cordial ties between the two countries. This is his first foreign visit since he assumed office in July last year for a record fifth time.
Deuba is scheduled to visit the holy city of Varanasi before wrapping up his trip on Sunday. PTI SBP SCY AKJ SCY
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Source: The Print