China rail to reach Nepal in 6 yrs

HONG KONG, July 24: A website of the Chinese government states that the continuing expansion of the Chinese railway from Sigaste of Tibet would link Nepal, India and Bhutan by 2020.

The update posted Tuesday on gov.cn after 14th track test of the Lhasa-Sigaste railway line says 253 km of railway line has already been completed.

“The 253 km railway line is complete now. It will come into operation from August,” said the website quoting Yang Yulin, deputy director of railway office of Tibet. “It is under China’s 13th five-year-plan (2016 – 2020). Within this period, two rail links would be extended to Kerung border area of Nepal and Yadung area to connect India and Bhutan,” Yulin adds.

According to Hari Basyal, consular general in Lahsa, the Lhasa-Sigatse railway line would open new avenues for Nepal-China trade. “Since it falls under the five-year-plan, it is certain that the railway line will reach Kerung. If Nepal government insists on it, China is positive about extending it even further in Nepal,” he said.

The construction of Lhasa-Sigatse railway had started in 2010. There are 14 stations along the block constructed at the altitude of 3,600-4,000 meters.

Lhasa-Sigatse road, which was a seven hour drive, has been shortened to just two hours after the construction of the railway line.