Janakpur Jaynagar Railway Cash Crisis might halt operation. The historic railway line is the one and only of the kind in the Himalayan country. Inaugurated in April 2022, the railway is just in operation for 8 months and its future is already uncertain due to cash crisis and managerial issues. Let’s know more about Janakpur Jaynagar Railway Cash Crisis in this article today.
Background of Janakpur Jaynagar Railway
The Janakpur Jayanagar Railway is a cross-border railway line operated from Janakpur, Nepal to Jaynagar, Bihar, India. It was constructed in 1937 AD for the purpose of Britishers to carry timber from the then heavily forested areas of Janakpur in the then kingdom of Nepal to Jaynagar, India. Later, it opened up for passengers for traveling to the holy site, Janakpurdham. However, the rail service halted in 2014 citing a constructed broad gauge upgrade.
The upgrade took 8 years to complete and the project was inaugurated by Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on April 2nd, 2022. The full operation commenced on April 3rd, 2022.
Janakpur Jaynagar Railway Cash Crisis
For daily operations, Nepal Railway Company (NRC) signed a commercial contract with the Indian company, Konkan Railways Corporation Limited (KRCL). The KRCL has been helping the NRC run rail operations for the past nine months. But, the contract with KRCl is ending next week.
The Nepalese side is noting that the cost of the expenses is too high with KRCL. Hence, NRC is planning to take responsibility alone. But there’s a take, there is no adequate technical manpower to run and operate the railway on the Nepal side. KRCL has been providing 28 different railway technicians for the operation. The technicians also include engine drivers costing hefty salaries and perks.
So, if the contract is not renewed, the railway service is on the verge of closing. Also, NRC has to pay more amount to KRCL than revenues, facing a huge loss on a daily basis. The loss is directing the only railway service into an uncertain future and crisis.
NRC has already put up an advert for hiring local engine drivers. It is seeking financial support from the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport. To continue the railway services, a loan or investment from the Ministry is hugely anticipated by NRC. Otherwise, the contract had to be renewed for the sake of the operation.
What If It Gets Halted Again?
If the railway service is halted again, it will affect pilgrims and commuters of Janakpur as well as Jaynagar. Janakpur being the birthplace of Sita, a Hindu goddess, holds great reverence and importance for the pilgrims of both sides. Also, a national project of the only kind will face more criticism and crisis at the same time.
It is indeed important that both NRC and the Ministry need to seek a long-term solution. Operating on a loss is also not a wise option for the country. While running the railway without Indian technicians is also not an easy job. Nepal lacks such technicians due to the unavailability of railway service in other places than Janakpur.
The railway service is also planned to be extended up to Bardibas, a popular point joining the hilly and Terai region in the central region. Kurtha–Bijalpura section is a 17 km long railway line that has been already completed. So, it is important to keep the services running while maintaining efficiency at the same time.
So, what do you think of Janakpur Jaynagar Railway Cash Crisis? Do you think the railway service in Nepal will go advanced and profitable one day? Do write us your thoughts and opinions in the comment section.