Nepal‚ India agree to establish Rs 320m Pancheshwar fund

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    KATHMANDU: Nepal and India have agreed to set up a fund of Rs 320 million to cover preliminary expenses of Pancheshwar Development Authority (PDA), which would oversee implementation of 5,600-megawatt Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project (PMP) being built at Mahakali river.

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    The agreement was reached during the first meeting of the governing body of PDA held in Kathmandu on Monday and Tuesday.

    During the two-day meeting, the two sides agreed to chip in an equal amount in the fund. “This corpus fund will be a part of the total project cost,” says a statement issued today by the Indian Embassy.

    The two neighbouring countries have also agreed to carry out works related to drafting of the detailed project report (DPR) of PMP as well as re-regulating dam at Rupaligad in an integrated manner within a six-month timeframe. The two countries have also agreed to entrust this task to ‘a consulting firm whose competence and capabilities are recognised by both the sides’.

    Nepal and India have prepared their own DPR in the past. However, these reports need to be updated, in view of changes in socio-economic data, availability of additional hydro-meteorological data and escalation in construction cost.

    PDA formally started its work from yesterday, soon after its statute was endorsed by its governing body.

    The governing body, or board, of PDA has seven members each from Nepal and India, and is co-chaired by Nepali energy secretary and Indian water resources secretary.

    Nepali members in the governing body include joint secretaries of energy, finance and foreign affairs ministries, directors general of the Department of Electricity Development and the Department of Irrigation, managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority, and CEO of the Pancheshwar Authority.

    The Authority’s management will be led by the CEO, who has not been appointed yet but will be a Nepali national. The CEO will be in office for a three-year term and will most likely be a government official, according to Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Energy Keshav Dhoj Adhikari.

    There is also a provision for additional CEO in the Authority, who will be an Indian national for now.

    Source : The Himalayan Times