KATHMANDU, March 8: The government has completed final preparation to establish the Department of Railway (DoR) with the vision of developing 4000 km railway line across the country within 20 years.
The Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MoPPW), which will oversee the DoR upon its formation, recently finalized the Organization and Management (O&M) survey and sent it to the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA) to forward it to the cabinet for approval.
The government decided to form the DoR to speed up the process of constructing different railway project across the country.
Ram Kumar Lamsal, who was involved in preparing O&M survey, said the DoR would have a total of 35 staffers, including three joint-secretaries, seven under-secretaries, 12 section officers and 13 non-gazetted officers. Annual budget for the department has been estimated at Rs 7.5 million.
"The Department of Railway will be formally established once the cabinet approves the O&M survey," said Lamsal, who is heading the Railway Project that is overseeing railway related works under stop-gap basis.
The Ministry of Finance has already given its consent to form the department. Upon formation, the department will oversee construction and management of railway, metro rail, ropeways and cable car lines in the country.
Lamsal, who is also a joint-secretary at MoPPW, said the department has set a vision of increasing railway line to 4,000 km, including the East-West Railway, Kathmandu-Pokhara Railway, Kathmandu-Tibet Railway and railway lines that connect major bordering towns of India and Nepal, within 20 years.
"We have also set a target of building 150 km metro line in the Kathmandu Valley, extend existing ropeway to 1,500 km and establish at least 60 cable car lines within the period," Lamsal told Republica on Monday.
The to-be-formed department will also complete the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Janakpur-Bardibas railway line and bring the Nepal Railways Company under the purview of the MoPPW. Existing acts specify the Ministry of Labor and Transport Management as the authority to oversee works related to railway.