The Kathmandu Post, 17 February 2018
A group of Nepali engineers will receive railway training in China as part of the government’s plan to strengthen technical capacity in the sector. The China government will be providing training to 20 engineers from the Department of Roads (DoR) and Department of Railways (DoRW).
Last November, a high-level Chinese delegation had proposed to train at least 20 government engineers from the two departments. According to Prakash Bhakta Upadhyaya, the training will facilitate concerned bodies in developing required expertise for expansion of railway in the country.
“Such trainings, especially in railway field, are necessary if we are thinking of developing our railway. This is how we are going to strengthen our capacity,” said Upadhayaya.
The department which is responsible for development of railway networks has no railway engineers. The department has 40 officials, including eight engineers– four civil, three mechanical and one electrical.
The government had also sent engineers from the DoR and the DoRW to China for training in railway technology last year. Although the railway department has said that it will soon send its technicians for training, the date of departure has not been fixed yet.
The DoRW officials blame the previous government for not taking the achievements of the visiting Chinese delegation last year seriously. The high-level Chinese delegation, led by Zheng Jian, the deputy director (Vice-Minister) of National Railway Administration of the People’s Republic of China, had come to Nepal to study the possibility of railway networks in the country.
Submitting their preliminary feasibility report, prepared after conducting field trips to Kerung, Pokhara and Lumbini, the team had concluded that two rail routes – Kathmandu-Kerung and Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini–could be developed in the country.
The Chinese side had also pledged technical support, including training to Nepali engineers then. However, there could be no progress on the deal, largely due to the indifference on the part of Nepal government, said Upadhyaya.
“As per the understanding, both sides were to meet in China in December last
year, but that did not happen. The previous government did not do anything serious regarding the project,” he said.The DoRW is counting on the new government to realise the country’s railway dream.