Despite cynicism both at home and abroad, it seems Nepalese Prime Minster KP Sharma Oli’s recent China visit is beginning to yield results. The small South Asian nation and the emerging world power yesterday proved that they meant business and they would do it by hook or by crook – even if it means offloading an entire train onto a convoy of trucks to Kathmandu.
People’s Daily Online reported today that China has dispatched the first train under its ‘combined transport service’ that will connect the communist nation with Nepal.
The Beijing-based media outlet said the train with 43 carts and 86 cargo containers left Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province, on May 11. It is carrying “daily necessities and home appliances”.
The train is part of a combined transport service between China and Nepal. PM KP Sharma Oli had signed a transport agreement with China during his last visit to the communist nation as an attempt to find alternative to the Himalayan nation’s total dependence on India.
Although the final destination of the goods on the Chinese train is Kathmandu, the freight will have to travel by road from Xigaze in Tibet.
According to the report, there are three sections of the transport arrangement: the first 2,431 kilometers will be covered by train from Lanzhou to Xigaze, then 564 kilometers of road transport from Xigaze to Geelong Port in Nepal and finally 160 kilometers of road transport from Geelong Port to Kathmandu.
The entire journey would take ten days which, the daily claimed. This is apparently a saving of 35 days for Nepal compared to the traditional ocean route via India.