India agreed to construct a rail link to Kathmandu

Vastavam web: India agreed on Saturday to construct a rail link to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, and to open up inland waterways in the landlocked Himalayan nation that has also been courted by China with transport deals.The agreement emerged at the end of talks in New Delhi between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepali counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli, making his first foreign visit to India after returning to power earlier this year.

The planned railway line from the border town of Raxaul to Kathmandu would be the mountainous nation’s most ambitious railway project. Nepal currently only has rail links on its southern plains.Nepali officials say they are already in talks with China over an extension of the Chinese railway network into Nepal from Tibet as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative that Nepal joined last year.

Analysts said the latest Indian move was spurred by China’s expansive infrastructure projects in Nepal as both Asian giants jostle for influence.