NEW DELHI/KATHMANDU: India is likely to offer Nepal's new prime minister help building an east-west railway line and better access to its ports on his first visit this week, as it tries to regain ground lost recently to China.
Prachanda+ , a former Maoist rebel commander, has chosen New Delhi as his first foreign stop, seeking to rebalance ties that chilled under his pro-China predecessor. KP Oli had sealed trade deals that sought to reduce landlocked Nepal's economic dependence on India.
"Relations with India have become frosty for some time. I want to remove the bitterness," Prachanda told reporters on Tuesday evening in Kathmandu, adding India now "wants to help Nepal, which is in difficulties."
Nepal has yet to complete a political transition after a decade-long insurgency and weeks of deadly street protests that brought down the monarchy nearly a decade ago.
A new republican constitution is still a source of rancour for southern plains people who mounted a five-month border blockade that ended earlier this year.
The country's last government said the fuel and trade embargo had the tacit backing of India - a charge New Delhi has denied.
Prachanda said that, on his four-day trip starting on Thursday, the two sides would discuss the railway line stretching from Mechi in east Nepal to Mahakali in the west that India will help build.
An Indian railway official said the project that runs parallel to Nepal's 1,030km (640-mile) east-west highway has been talked about in the past, but that the two countries are now discussing financial terms.
"The plan is to push forward immediately with this project. It's a big development project," said the official involved in preparations for the visit. The mountainous country has only one short rail line from Jaynagar on the Indian border to Janakpur.
Another possible project, Prachanda said, was a hydro-electric power plant that could be built with Indian grant aid.
It makes much more economic sense for Nepal to have its trade transit routes going thru India rather than China!!
Nepalese are good people
Nepal is not a dangerous neighbor country , like Pakistan. As Nepal is a Hindu country, connectivity to Nepal will help Indian tourists/businessmen a lot.
India would increase assistance to Nepal for Hydroelectric power plant & east- west railway line but could not prevent Her to accept help from Beijing.China has far more surplus & technology towoo Kathmandu.However Nepal''s rapid growth is in our interest
Vishnu Swaroop Kyanam
Good Move. We should have a Good Relationship with Nepal.
Approach is Good Nepal PM should understand centuries old relation of India -Nepal which had been severely damaged by ANTI INDIA stance of his predecessor KP Oli .
Now it''s high time that Nepal keep a distance from China
This is called Modi effect.
NEPAL as a COUNTRY must be RESPECTED!!!....WE should not try BULLYING tactics with our neighbours at all....SHOWS POOR WISDOM!!!
India and Nepal are more integrated than the chinese. Will the chinese allow the nepalis to become part of their armed forces ,or seek employment in govt jobs?
Nepal was always a good friend of India and India too helped Nepal when it needed it. Recently Nepal seems to be leaning towards China.