Indo-Nepal relations- A look of change in the Post-Covid19 period

Indo-Nepal relations
Image Source:- IBITIMES
  • Nepal and India mend the ties after the reopening of borders.
  • India invests in Nepal’s railway project and ushers Nepal’s hydropower projects. 

The ties between Nepal and India are one that of old. They interconnect in many ways, making the two countries more than just border countries. India’s relation with Nepal is always amicable, rooted in trust and friendship. Bhutan lies in the border, too, but Nepal shares more substantial ties.

Hence, the occasional rifts between the two countries are not avoidable, but it also does not last long. The surge of the Covid-19 Pandemic affected the relations between many countries as the complete lockdown demanded the closing of borders and transportations.

The open border between Nepal and India alongside Bhutan and India was closed from the time the spread of Covid-19 escalated.   

However, before the Pandemic, the Indo-Nepal relations had already aggravated due to the boundary issues in Nepal’s North-western region. The closing of borders due to the spread of Covid-19 pushed the two countries away as the open border was closed for over one and half years which began in March 2020.

It provoked nationwide protests in Nepal and thus alienated itself further from India.  

The Indo-Nepal relations seem to go through a slow and gradual positive change with the opening of the border, thus enabling a constant inflow and outflow of people from both countries with an upsurge in trade and commerce.

India hands Janakpur-Jaynagar Railway sector to Nepal

It is a very appreciative move from the side of the Indian Government as it hands over the Janakpur-Jaynagar sector of the railway to the Government of Nepal. 

The entire cost of this railway project is under the purview of the Indian Government, which amounts to a total of INR. 8.8. billion.

It is the only passenger railway in Nepal. However, the commendable feat of the Indian Government lies in the fact that it converted the narrow-gauge railway line into a broad-gauge railway line, apart from making eight stations at different places.

Indo-Nepal Trade and Commerce

With this positive and liberal move from India’s side, a significant change is noticeable in the Indo-Nepal trade and commerce. Nepal’s hydropower projects are leading to further hydropower exports to India.

It will also open a new prospect of earning revenue from India, which can bolster Nepal’s economy.   

There is considerable growth in Nepal’s exports as well. It estimates that Nepal’s exportable items to India increased to 81.5 per cent in the first four months of 2021-22. Also,

The Indian Government allowed the import of goods even when most countries still followed strict restrictions related to the Covid19 Pandemic.

A large number of people also get support from employment opportunities in India. Hence, Nepal’s remittance from these people contributes to the substantial reduction of poverty in the country.  

Overall, India’s contribution to the development of its neighbouring country is outstanding. India had played an essential role in providing support to Nepal after it became free from the yoke of the Rana regime in 1951.

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It extended the help by building the Tribhuvan Highway to connect Kathmandu to the Birgunj/Raxaul point of the Nepal-India border through the most difficult of hill terrains. Hence, it paved the way for Nepal to connect Kathmandu to the Terai and India.

It also helped construct Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, apart from many others in different parts of the country. The same is with the construction of buildings for Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.

Almost in all the sectors, India has been a helping hand.  

The handshake with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi marks improving relations and reestablishing the amicable bonds between Nepal and India. Therefore, it generates positivity in seeing this respect between the two neighbouring countries, Nepal and India.

In the second week of January 2022, the newly appointed Nepalese Prime Minister, Sher Bahadur Dueba, visited New Delhi.

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