India has reportedly pushed for setting up direct rail links to Nepal and Bangladesh, two countries which share good relationship with China of late. India aims to increase sub-regional cooperation in the absence of SAARC Motor Vehicles and Railways Agreements.
India wants to link Kathmandu with Delhi and Kolkata to increase cross-border connectivity and aid the movement of citizens of two countries.
"These two railway tracks (Delhi-Kathmandu & Kolkata-Kathmandu) must be built soon to increase Nepal's connectivity with India," Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said while delivering a keynote speech at the Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2017. "I will give priority to build such networks soon," he said.
Prabhu signed deals worth $340 million in soft loans for a bridge project and 15 road projects during his Kathmandu visit.
He also added that India was ready to share its drone technology and experience with Nepal for monitoring the project.
India's grand gesture was reportedly meant to counter China's attempt to expand its rail network towards Lumbini through Kathmandu.
The Centre has also asked the state-owned Container Corporation (Concor) to explore the possibilities of running a cargo train to Bangladesh to enhance bilateral trade.