KATHMANDU: Nepal and India have reviewed progress made by bilateral water resources projects and discussed issues relating to water resources, electricity, flood forecasting and flood control.
The matters were discussed during the two-day Nepal India Joint Technical Standing Committee meeting, held after a gap of two years, that concluded here yesterday, according to a press release issued by Department of Energy, Nepal.
The two sides reviewed progress made by bilateral water resources projects and discussed issues relating to flood forecasting and flood control, water resources and electricity, the release said today.
While the Nepalese delegation was led by Shiv Kumar Sharma, director general, Department of Immigration, the Indian side was led by Bibhas Kumar, chairman, Ganga Flood Control Commission of India.
The officials also discussed matters relating to Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, head regulator of the Tanakpur Barrage under the Mahakali Treaty and irrigation facilities in the Chadani Dodhara area during the meeting.
They also discussed matters relating to Saptakoshi High Dam Multipurpose project, study of Sunkoshi- Kamala diversion project and Koshi and Gandak projects.
The officials agreed to expedite matters relating to cross-country transmission line, power trade and energy banking and exchange information on flood control mechanism.
The two sides reviewed the ongoing dam construction works being carried out in Bagmati, Kamala and Lalbakaiya rivers.
They also discussed matters relating to preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the 5,600 MW Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project and establishing a Pancheshwar Development Joint Authority to expedite development of the project.
However, no decision could be made regarding the finalisation of the proposed DPR that envisages sharing of electricity and water between Nepal and India on fifty-fifty basis.
The officials have agreed to convene the next meeting in India in February next year.
Mechanism on flood information exchange to be formed
KATHMANDU, SEP 14 –
The fourth meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Standing Technical Committee (JSTC) on Water Resources concluded here on Friday with a decision to set up a mechanism through which information on flooding will be exchanged.
The meeting also reached an understanding under which India will provide water through Tanakpur and Sarada barrage to irrigate Nepali lands in line with the provision in the Mahakali Treaty.
During the two-day joint secretary-level meeting that began Thursday, representatives from both the countries discussed issues like implementing significant points of the Mahakali Tready, river control, inundation problems, implementing the Koshi High Dam project and expediting the construction of Nepal-India cross boarder transmission line, among others.
“Further understandings will be reached during the fifth JSTC meeting to be held in Delhi at the earliest,” said an official of the Department of Irrigation.
The official said the Indian side was positive on providing necessary amount of water for irrigating Nepali lands. The Nepali side had asked the Indian officials to provide 28.35 cumec water through Tanakpur barrage to irrigate Kanchanpur district, and 10 cumec through Sarada barrage to irrigate Chandani and Dodhara areas.
“The Indian side has committed to prepare a design to provide water through Sarada barrage by setting up a head regulator and a canal and to table the design in the next meeting,” he said, adding this was the “major achievement” of the meeting.
The meeting also agreed to construct two suspension bridges over the Mahakali River so as to conduct studies for the development of the Pancheswor Multipurpose Project. “As per the agreement, Nepal will provide the sites to construct the bridges and propose specifications, while the Indian side will conduct necessary studies and construct the bridges,” said Dilli Bahadur Singh, director general of Department of Electricity Department.
Singh said it is necessary to build the two bridges in Rupaligadh and Pancheswor so as to conduct the studies for the development of the Pancheswor project. He said the Nepali side has also promised to provide security for the Sapta Koshi High Dam Project.
During the meeting, the Indian side raised concerns over the halt of the study being carried out for the construction of the Sapta Koshi project. Although both the sides had agreed to carry out feasibility studies for the project, it could not be continued after the locals obstructed work, stating the project would result in inundation. The Indian side also expressed commitment to endorse the terms of reference (ToR) for setting up of a Pancheswor Development Authority office in Kanchanpur before the next secretary-level meeting of the Joint Committee on Water Resources.
Nepal has prepared a guideline on setting up of the office on the Nepali side with an aim to help take ahead foundational work for the implementation of the Pancheswor project. Although the Nepali government has already approved the ToR, the Indian government is yet to do so.
Nepal and India had signed the Treaty on Integrated Development of Mahakali River in February 1996. Pancheshwar project is at the heart of the Mahakali Treaty.
Department of Irrigation Director General Shiva Kumar Sharma led the Nepali side in the meeting, while the Indian side was led by Bivash Kumar, chairman of the Central Water Commission of India.
The meeting also reached an understanding to accelerate work on the under-construction 400-KV Dhalkebar-Mujjafapur Cross-Boarder Transmission Line. The meeting also held discussions on the construction of a second cross-boarder line through Rupandehi and Gorakhpur.