Foreign nationals cannot travel to India by Nepal’s new rail link

Kathmandu: Nepal will not allow nationals from a third country to travel to India by rail via the recently launched Kurtha-Jayanagar railroad after Indian officials raised a red flag, citing security concerns, a media report said.

“This was agreed while finalizing the Standard Operating Procedure (SPA) for cross-border railway operation,” Deepak Kumar Bhattarai, Director General of the Department of Railways, was quoted as saying by The Kathmandu Post.

Nepal and India share a porous border, which has been a hotbed for criminals and terrorist activities.

On October 22, India handed over the 34.9 km-long cross-border rail link connecting Jaynagar in Bihar to Kurtha in Nepal to the Nepal government.

According to the report, Nepal will notify India about passengers boarding the train to ensure seamless security clearance at the border.

“Based on the tickets issued, we will have to send details of the passengers who are traveling to India,” Bhattarai added.

India has been wary about the possibility of a surge in cross-border crimes if third-country nationals are allowed to travel via the Kurtha-Jayanagar railroad, the report said.

The Jayanagar-Kurtha section is part of the 68.7 km Jayanagar-Bijalpura-Bardidas rail link built under the Government of India’s grant assistance of 8.77 billion Nepalese rupees.

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