Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese colleague Sher Bahadur Deuba met in New Delhi, initiating a number of projects and signing four important agreements across a variety of fields. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) and Nepal Oil Corporation Ltd. signed agreements on Nepal becoming the 105th member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), technical cooperation in railways, petroleum product delivery, and technical experience sharing in the petroleum sector.
- The two Prime Ministers also observed the first passenger train service between India’s Jayanagar and Nepal’s Kurtha, the handover of India’s Solu corridor transmission project to Nepal, and the progress of 132 health facilities being built across 10 districts in Nepal under a GoI grant.
- The two countries announced the debut of the Indian RuPay card in Nepal, with the domestic variation of the RuPay card (about 83 percent of all RuPay cards issued) being compatible with approximately 1400 POS machines in Nepal.
- After Bhutan, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates, Nepal is now the fourth country outside of India to accept RuPay.
Jaynagar- Kurtha Railway:
- The Jaynagar-Kurtha railway line is part of the Jaynagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas train link, which is being built with a grant of INR 548 crore from the Indian government.
- It’s a 35-kilometre rail stretch, with 3 kilometres in Bihar, India, and the rest in Nepal.
- The project will be the first broad-gauge passenger rail link between the two countries, bringing a whole new level of cross-border connectivity to the region.
- This was an existing rail service between Jaynagar and Janakpur on a metre-gauge rail link until 2014.
- One of the biggest projects in Nepal under the Government of India’s Line of Credit is the Solu Corridor 132 kV power transmission line and substation (LoC).
- The 90-kilometre 132-kV Double Circuit line connects Nepal’s national electrical system to the remote Solukhumbu, Khotang, and Okhaldhunga districts in North Eastern Nepal.
- The transmission line will transmit electricity from existing and upcoming hydro projects in the area into the national grid, as well as supply power to adjacent districts’ rural electrification networks, once it is operational.
- The project is expected to be critical for Nepal’s rural socio economic development, as well as contributing to the country’s overall economic and industrial development.
About Nepal PM Sher Bahadur Deuba:
- Sher Bahadur Deuba is a long-serving Nepali Congress politician with a political career spanning seven decades.
- This is Deuba’s fifth term as Prime Minister. From September 1995 to March 1997, he served in the Senate.
- He has visited India multiple times, both when he was in office and when he was not.