Nepal on Friday officially proposed India for establishing ‘energy-bank’ in a bid to resolve the energy crisis seen in the country during winter season.
In response, the Indian side has committed to make an early decision after conducting a feasibility study on the matter.
The proposal was made during the fifth meeting of Nepal-India Joint Standing Technical Committee on Water Resources that began in Delhi on Thursday to assess the progress made on ongoing irrigation projects, inundation and flood control.
According to the proposal put forth by Nepal, Nepal will export its surplus electricity to India during monsoon and import power during crisis in winter.
This is the first time Nepal officially drew India’s attention towards the issue, according to Nepal Electricity Authority MD Mukesh Raj Kafle, who is also a member of Nepali team participating in the meeting.
The two-day meeting is the first official engagement between the two countries after the cancellation of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s visit to India and recalling of Nepal’s Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay.
In the next few years, Nepal is likely to produce surplus electricity during monsoon, thanks to under construction mega hydropower projects. In view of this probability, Nepali officials believe that the agreement could be beneficial to both the countries. A historic Power Trade Agreement between Nepal and India inked in 2014 has paved the way for establishing of energy bank.
“The proposal is for mutual benefit where Nepal could export power when it has surplus production and import during energy crisis,” said Kafle.
However, Indian officials said there are some legal hindrances on their side to implement this project. Nepali officials believe that it depends on India’s will as how they will take forward this proposal.
Similarly, Nepali side also urged the Indian team to bring into operation the Gandak Power House as per Gandak Agreement. India had agreed to extend grant for building a 15,000KW (15MW) capacity power house. Currently, the project has come to a halt.
Nepal also drew India’s attention on Birpur power house as per Nepal-India agreement.
Apart from this, Nepali side expressed their objection to India’s unilateral move to construct a road along Nepal-India border. The embankment-style road is likely to pose threat of floods and inundation in Nepali territory, the Nepali side said.
In response, the India sought detail information regarding the matter so that they could take necessary measures towards resolving the issue.
The joint-secretary-level meeting also held deliberations on Kamala, Lalkawaiya and Bagmati irrigation projects.
A secretary-level meeting will be held based on the suggestions from this meeting. The two-day joint secretary-level meeting ended on Friday.
Source : The Kathmandu Post