Experts stress on fair water policy


    KATHMANDU: Experts and professionals on water resources have suggested the government to set its national priority agenda while dealing on water resources issues with India.

    They have also asked the government to make it clear whether it wants to make electricity or ‘use of water’ as its priority agenda in dealing with the Indian side.

    The suggestion were made at an interaction held in the Capital today, which was just couple of days before the sixth meeting of the Joint Commission on Water Resources (JCWR) between Nepal and India.

    The two-day JCWR between Nepal and India meeting is going to be held in Kathmandu on January 24-25. Energy Secretary Hari Ram Koirala is leading the Nepali side, whereas Indian side will be led by its Water Secretary.

    “During the earlier JCWR meetings, the Indian side has been water-focused, whereas the Nepali side has been focused on electricity,” said Dr YB Thapa, a former member of the National Planning Commission, while presenting his paper “Alternative agenda for Nepal-India JCWR meet”. He suggested that Nepal should form its talks-team as per the line of Indian side.

    Thapa went on to add, “Given the Indian side’s focus on water-related matter, if we be assigned the Irrigation Secretary to lead the talks-team, our case will be more effective in the dealings.” He suggested the Nepali side should focus on getting maximum benefits of the water rather than touting the issue of electricity.

    Similarly, former water resources minister and water expert Dipak Gyawali, said the Nepali side should be very clear that producing hydro-electricity was never India’s priority in Nepal. “The sooner we understand this the better for us to deal with the Indian counterparts on water resources issues,” he added.

    Regarding the recent cut of electricity by 30MW by Indian Government, Gyawali said it was unnatural even to think that India can provide more electricity to Nepal at a time when India’s northern grids are facing more than 15,000 MW deficits. He even drew the attention of the government to consult with the Water and Energy Commission before making the agenda for the JCRW meet.

    Professor Madan Dahal said the partial treatment was not enough while dealing on water-related issues to any party including India. “We need to connect it as a theory of economic development.” He suggested both sides need to focus in finding problems and addressing it on the non-implementation issues, including the Pancheshwor Multipurpose Project and Naumure Hydroelectricity project.

    Source : The Himalayan Times