India and Nepal have agreed to allow cargoes in all categories of wagons that can carry freight on Indian Railways network within India to also carry freight to and from Nepal.
The liberalisation will particularly reduce transportation costs for automobiles and certain other products whose carriage takes place in special wagons and will boost rail cargo movement between the two countries, per an official release.
Wagons owned by Nepal Railway Company will also be authorised to carry Nepal-bound freight (inbound and outbound on Kolkata/Haldia to Biratnagar/Birganj routes) over the Indian Railways network as per IR standards and procedures.
The signing of the Letter of Exchange to the India-Nepal Rail Services Agreement (RSA) 2004 marks another milestone in India’s efforts to enhance regional connectivity under the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, the release said.
“With the entering into force of the LoE, all authorised cargo train operators, which include public and private container trains operators, automobile freight train operators, special freight train operators or any other operator authorised by Indian Railways, will be able to utilise the Indian railway network to carry Nepal’s container and other freight — both bilateral between Indian and Nepal or third country from Indian ports to Nepal,” the statement added.