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Nepal not to allow third country nationals to travel to India via rail

As per the latest news reports, Nepal will not be allowing people from third countries to travel to India by rail via the Kurtha-Jayanagar railroad. This move comes after Indian officials expressed security concerns, which was also confirmed by a senior official of the Department of Railways.

Referring to this, the Director General of the Department of Railways Deepak Kumar Bhattarai stated, “This was agreed while finalising the Standard Operating Procedure (SPA) for cross-border railway operation.” The SPA is a document that outlines the procedures that are to be adopted while operating the railway service. Reports have it that India and Nepal signed the SPA in New Delhi last month.

As per the Director General of the Department of Railways, India’s security concern was one of the reasons why it took so long to finalise the SPA. Reportedly, with India and Nepal sharing a porous border, India has always been cautious about the possibility of miscreants using the porous border to cause harm to India. And reportedly, both sides have suffered a lot from cross-border crimes over the last several years.

Further, Bhattarai added that Nepal will now notify India regarding passengers on board to make sure that the security is cleared at the border point. He added that based on the ticket issued, they will then send details of passengers travelling to India.

However, although the SPA has already been finalised, it is still not clear when the railway service will start, as the Nepal Government is yet to introduce a law on railway service and the Nepal Railway Company is yet to hire staff to operate the service.

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