Nepal-India meet on Pancheshwar begins today


    pancheshworKATHMANDU: A Nepal-India meeting dedicated to development of 5,600 MW Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project is being held in Kathmandu for the first time after a decade, during which officials of both the countries will hold discussions on finalising the detailed project report and drafting the charter of Pancheshwar Development Authority, which will oversee implementation of the project.

    The two-day meeting of the governing board of the project will begin tomorrow. Energy Secretary Rajendra Kishore Kshatri will lead the Nepali side, while the Indian side will be led by Secretary at the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Alok Rawat. The Indian delegation has already arrived in Kathmandu.

    This is the first time that the governing board of Pancheshwar Project is meeting. The governing board comprises seven members each from both the countries. It will be co-chaired by Nepali energy secretary and Indian water resources secretary.

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

    A meeting dedicated to development of Pancheshwar Project was last held in 2004. After that terms of reference of the project were initialled at the secretary-level during Nepal-India joint committee meeting on water resources held in 2009. The terms of reference were finally endorsed by both the countries during Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal in the first week of August.

    “The two-day meeting will basically focus on framing a charter of the Authority, which will oversee the project implementation,” said Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Energy Keshav Dhoj Adhikari. Discussions will also be held on appointing a CEO and an assistant CEO of PDA.

    Both the countries have agreed to select these officials through free competition. One of them will be a Nepali, while the other an Indian.

    “The meeting will also deliberate on finalising the detailed project report of Pancheshwar Project so that the project could be rolled out soon,” Adhikari said.

    Earlier during Indian PM Modi’s visit to Nepal, both the countries had agreed to set up the authority within six months and finalise the DPR and begin implementation of the project within a year.

    “Both the sides have conducted detailed studies on the project in the past. All we need to do is iron out differences and ensure the information is up to date,” Adhikari said. “Considering this, we might be able to finalise the DPR within six to eight months.”

    The two sides will discuss creating a fund to pool resources for the development of the project during the meeting, Adhikari informed.

    Source : The Himalayan Times