KATHMANDU, Jan 10: Nineteen firms have showed interest to conduct feasibility study for Kathmandu-Birgunj Electrical Railway Project.
Companies from China, India and South Korea as well as some European countries submitted their bids by Monday evening - the deadline for submission of bids, responding to a global tender invited by the Department of Railways (DoR).
“Nineteen companies have expressed interest to conduct feasibility study. We will open their bids on Tuesday and start the evaluation process,” said Prakash Upadhyaya, a senior divisional engineer with the DoR.
He added that the evaluation process could be completed within a month of the opening of bid documents.
The DoR will shortlist six companies. One of them will be selected to conduct feasibility study.
According to DoR, the selected firm will get six months to conduct feasibility study, prepare preliminary cost estimate, and recommend the best technical, financial and economical routes. It will have to propose three routes for the railway line and recommend the best one.
“It would take more than three months to complete the selection process. We will select the eligible firm by Arpil,” Upadhyaya said, adding that the department aims to start the study within the current fiscal year.
The department had earlier invited global tender for the feasibility study on November 29, giving a 31-day deadline.
According to the department, it started the process to conduct feasibility study of Kathmandu-Birgunj Railway Line as the service will be cheaper, environment-friendly and consumes less time.
Birgunj is a major trading point for the country. More than 70 percent of the country's international trade is done through this border point.
Upadhyaya also said that the railway line would be important to connect Birgunj and Rasuwagadhi - a small town than borders emerging Chinese trading town of Keyrung -- with rail networks.
“The department is now taking the north-south rail networks forward as the work for preparing a Detailed Project Report for Mechi-Mahakali Railway has already begun,” he added.