By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, May 25: After proposing to dig a tunnel through the world’s highest mountain in Tibet, Mount Everest to link railroads from Tibet to Nepal in April, China now plans to stretch the railroads to Bihar in India.
Having established its influence in Nepal with road and railway networks through Tibet, China now wants to stretch its railway link to Bihar to improve connectivity with India and South Asia, state-run Chinese media reported today.
In a meeting between Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli and Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang it is understood that the two countries signed a transit treaty for Nepal to access supplies from China through the arduous route of Tibet during the formers visit to China earlier in March.
China opened a combined road (Rasuwagadhi Highway) and rail service to Kathmandu through Mount Everest in Tibet to improve transportation of supplies to the Himalayan country and wave Nepal’s dependence on India, the sole supplier of goods.
China’s railroad is expected to reach Nepal’s border Rasuwagadhi which lies next to Tibet’s Kyirong by 2020.
The new railroad connecting Birgunj, which borders Bihar is only 240 km and makes it easier for China to connect with India, an article in the state-run Global Times said.
Beijing claims that the proposed rail link compared to the existing route through Kolkata will shorten distance, save time, cost and enhance the transportation between the two countries.
Altogether, the combined transport takes 35 days fewer than traditional ocean transport, the report further stated.