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Janakpur-Jayanagar rail service undergoes successful test operation

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DHANUSHA — The test operation of Janakpur-Jayapur railway, Nepal’s only railway service underwent successfully on Wednesday.

The test operation was conducted by the Indian side in a bid to resume the operation of the train service which has remained completely standstill for the last four years.

During the test operation, a railway engine with 53 bogies made the 8.5 kilometres long journey from Jayanagar of Nepal to Khajuri Railway Station in India, according to the Nepal Railway Campaigner Binod Ojha.

The train moved with ease during the test operation.

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Ojha further informed that there would be no trouble in resuming railway service with the completion of the test operation.

There was a huge queue of spectators to observe the test operation of South Asia’s first railway service that connects two countries.

The Janakpur-Jayanagar-Kurtha rail service, being constructed at the Indian assistance of Rs 7 billion, is in its final phase.

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Govt decides to award Budhi Gandaki Hydel project to Chinese firm again

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KATHMANDU — The government has decided to award contract for the construction of the 1,200-megawatt Budhigandaki hydropower project, a national pride project, to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) once again.

A Cabinet meeting on Friday has decided to award the contract for the project to CGGCL reverting the erstwhile Sher Bahadur Deuba government’s decision to develop the 1200MW project with internal resources.

The Cabinet meeting has directed the Energy Ministry to initiate the process to award the project to the Chinese company.

Following the government decision, the Energy Ministry will now invite the Chinese company for talks and prepare a draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) before signing it, according to multiple sources at the ministry.

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As per the Cabinet decision, the ministry has been asked to hold talks with the Gezhouba, prepare a proposal, and strike a deal to execute the $2.5 billion reservoir project.

Earlier on May 15, 2017, the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to construct the Budhigandaki project to CGGCL, juat nine days before he was to resign from the PM’s post.

The Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to CGGCL at a cost of Rs 260 billion as per a study carried out by a French company, Tractebel Engineering.

The agreement, however, invited controversy as the project was handed to the Chinese company without initiating a competitive bidding process.

The Budhi Gandaki hydel project has been touted as a key project to resolve the perennial power crisis in the country. The government has allocated Rs18 billion for compensation payments and operational expenses for this fiscal year.

The Gorkha and Dhading district administration offices are currently distributing compensation to owners of the land taken over by the project.

More than 8,000 households will be affected by the project, according to the latest report.

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