Kathmandu, Nov 20: Nepal will not allow people from third countries to travel to India by rail via the Kurtha-Jayanagar railroad after Indian officials expressed security concerns, a senior official of the Department of Railways has said.
Deepak Kumar Bhattarai, director general at the department, said: “This was agreed while finalizing the Standard Operating Procedure (SPA) for cross-border railway operation,” The Kathmandu Post reported.
The SPA is a document outlining the procedures to be adopted while operating the railway service.
Nepal and India signed the SPA in New Delhi last month.
According to Bhattarai, India’s security concern was one of the reasons why it took so long to finalize the SPA. With Nepal and India sharing a porous border, India has always been suspicious about the possibility of criminals and terrorists using the porous border to cause harm to India. Both sides have suffered from cross-border crimes over the last several years.
According to Bhattarai, Nepal will also notify India about the passengers on board to ensure security clearance at the border point. “Based on the ticket issued, we will have to send details of the passengers traveling to India,” he said.
Even though the SPA was finalized, it is not clear when the railway service will resume with the Nepal government yet to introduce a law on railway service, and the Nepal Railway Company yet to hire staff to operate the service.