Restoration of railway service after 21 years elates Bhangaha folks

Monday morning was not a usual moment for Siyanki Devi Bantar of Palar, Bhangaha in Mohattari. It was a day when her long-cherished dream of traveling by rail from her locality had finally come true.

She was delighted while she embarked on her journey to Janakpur. She looked forward to experiencing a day filled with joy and fun of a train ride. She hoped to get back to home in the evening with memories of a nice time in Janakpur.

Railway service here was closed with the monsoon floods significantly damaging a bridge over the Biggi Bridge in 2059 BS. Since then, Siyanka Devi’s travel to Janakpur has been very limited.

Hem Kumari Sada of Ramnagar of Bhangaha-4 is overjoyed to see the restoration of a railway service after two decades. “Now we are comfortable to travel to Janakpur for shopping and for other purposes.”

Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Prakash Jwala, on Sunday inaugurated the railway service along the extended additional 17-kilometer section of Bhanga-Kurtha route of Jayanagar-Bardibas Railway.

The old railway station the area was formerly known as Bijalpura. The railway service connects Janakpur to Jaynagar in India. Back then, the rail operated with coal-burning locomotives on a narrow track, but it has now been upgraded to a modern broad-gauge railway assisted by diesel-run engines.

On the day when the railway service resumed, the locals eagerly chose to visit the historic Ramanjanaki Temple in Janakpur by traveling on the train.

The railway service has been expanded between Jayanagar-Bardibas. Of the three sections, the 35 km Kurtha-Jaynagar has already come into operation. The 17 km Bhangaha-Kurtha came into service from Monday.

Under the third section, the 18 km Bhangaha-Bardibas is yet to operate as the track and other infrastructure have not been constructed yet. Problems in the land acquisition has led to a delay, it has been said.

They were coordinating with the construction company to proceed with the construction as the farmers have got compensations for the land acquired, said General Manager of the Nepal Railway Company, Niranjan Jha.

“With the expansion up to the Bhangaha-Kurtha, now the railway service regularly operates along the 52 km track. The work on the third section will proceed soon,” he said.

The construction started since 2014 with the financial and technical assistances from the Government of India. Out of the total 69 km track (Bardibas-Janakpurdham, and Dhanusha-Jaynagar (India), the service is now operational along the 52 km track.

His service has made local people happy. “Now, we avail the railway service regularly,” said Kaushalya Kapar of Khoriya Sitapur in Dhanusha district.

The service is also expected to boost trade, said the local people. A train reaches Bhangaha once every evening and leaves at 7:30 am, said Jha.

Under the first section, the service along the Kurtha-Jaynagar was operational once a day on 2 April, 2022. The service has been expanded twice a day around nine months ago, and thrice from today.

The railway expansion started in 2014 as per the agreement between Nepal and India in 2010 with the initial investment of Rs 7.2 billion from the Government of India. Now, the construction cost has increased to Rs 12 billion.



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