India-Nepal Summit: First-ever rail link inaugurated, RuPay invades Himalayan nation

The first-ever passenger train link between India and Nepal was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepal on Saturday.

Both sides struck four pacts to expand ties in areas such as railroads and energy. These were related to Nepal’s entry into the International Solar Alliance; Memorandum of Understanding to Improve Technical Cooperation in the Railway Sector; Agreement for the supply of petroleum products between IOC and NOC; and Agreement on the exchange of technical expertise between IOC and NOC.

In the morning at a joint press meeting, Prime Minister Modi said: “We agreed to give more priority to cross-border connectivity initiatives in all aspects, as well as trade. And the railway line is one such initiative.” He also reiterated India’s support for the development, peace and prosperity of the Himalayan nation.

The visit focused on a wide range of bilateral issues, including border disputes, power, connectivity, people-to-people relations, health sector, energy, trade cooperation, and development and economic partnership.

Accompanied by his wife Dr. Arzu Deuba and a high-level delegation, Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba arrived in New Delhi on Friday for his three-day visit to India. This is his fifth visit to India since taking office in July 2021. On Friday he visited the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters and also met with Foreign Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar met.

The visit by the Nepalese Prime Minister follows closely on the recently completed unannounced visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

railway line

This 35km cross-border rail link between Jaynagar in Bihar and Kurtha in Nepal aims to improve relations between the two nations. Sources have confirmed to the Financial Express that the train, with a capacity of around 1000 passengers with 300 seats and 700 standing, is expected to travel at an average speed of 40 km/h for the inaugural run. And it takes about an hour to reach Janakpur/Kurtha. With the support of KRCL and IRCON, this train is operated by the Nepal Railway Company (NRC) with the support of KRCL and IRCON.

meaning of this line

With a total length of 68.72km, the Jaynagar-Kurtha section is part of the Jayanagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas railway link and is being built with a grant of Rs 548 crore from the Government of India and M/s IRCON as the Executing Agency.

About 3km of this 35km rail section is in Bihar and the rest is in Nepal. The section consists of 8 stations – Jaynagar in India, Inarwa, the border station, and the religiously important Khajuri, Mahinathpur, Baidehi, Parwaha, Janakpur and Kurtha in Nepal.

Briefing the media at the end of the bilateral talks between the leaders of the two countries, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said: “A long-felt demand by the people of India and Nepal has been fulfilled with the inauguration of a cross-border rail link between the two countries.”

Calling the day a historic day, the foreign minister said that the first cross-border broad-gauge railway link will connect both countries by rail in addition to road and air links.

The railway line inaugurated today was formerly built by the British and was a narrow gauge line and was used to transport logs from Nepal. This line was reconstructed with a grant from the Government of India.

cooperation in the energy sector

A joint mission statement on energy sector cooperation, launched at the end of talks between the two leaders, states that Indian investment in Nepal’s renewable energy sector, particularly in the hydroelectric sector, will benefit both sides and strengthen economies. It will help create jobs, increase export earnings and further contribute to the development of industrial and financial capacity.

According to the document, the Nepalese government has invited Indian companies to invest in the construction, development and operation of renewable energy projects, particularly in the hydroelectric sector. The document states that the companies can participate in storage projects through mutually beneficial partnerships.

Visit to Varanasi

On Sunday, the visiting Prime Minister will leave for Varanasi to visit Vishwanath Temple and will be accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Prime Minister Yogi Adityanath.

More about the meeting today

Both heads of state came up during talks over the Kalapani border dispute. At the end of the talks, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba spoke to the media in New Delhi: “The border issue has been discussed and I urged Modiji to resolve it through the establishment of a bilateral mechanism.”

As previously reported, the Kalapani border issue erupted in November 2019 after the revised political map of India depicted the Kalapani-Lipulekh-Limpiadora triangular area within the territory of Uttarakhand. In response, the Himalayan nation had included a revised map of the country in the national insignia of Nepal. This issue has yet to be discussed through a mechanism led by foreign ministers from both sides.

The two leaders spoke of joint efforts to control illegal activities along the borders between the two countries and implement measures to further strengthen the security situation along the borders.

Handover of Solu corridor transmission project

This 132 kV power transmission line and substation in the Solu Corridor is one of the largest projects in Nepal to be carried out under a credit line from India. And it is about 90km 132kV double line with project cost of Rs 200 crore. This EPC-model line, built by an Indian company, Mohan Energy, connects the remote districts of Okhaldhunga, Solukhumbu and Khotang in north-eastern Nepal to the national power grid of Nepal. Once operational, it will derive power from existing and planned hydroelectric projects in the region and feed power into those counties’ rural electrification grids.

Introduction of Rupay in Nepal

Rupay strings have become functional on all Nepal SBI Bank (NSBL) POS machines, a subsidiary of SBI and Nepal’s largest international bank in this country, located at religious sites such as Janakpur, Manakamna, Pashupatinath and Lumbini.

This is a major milestone in bilateral financial connectivity between the two countries and will further deepen tourist flows, people-to-people connections and enhance the capabilities of the payments ecosystem. Singapore, Bhutan and the United Arab Emirates have RuPay.


Both countries renewed the agreement on the supply of petroleum products between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) and Nepal Oil Corporation Ltd. (NOC) for a period of five years and it will now be valid until 2027. It takes the form of an umbrella agreement and will allow IOCL to supply petroleum products to NOC. This includes delivery via the Motihari-Amlekhgunj pipeline, which became operational in July 2019.

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