Teams from Nepal and India drafting the law in Kathmandu
The meeting is the first to be held in 10 years, after 2004. The statute, according to Nepali officials, will be endorsed on Tuesday. The law will open the way for the much-delayed project to move forward.
Delegates were engaged on Monday mainly in finalising the statute. “The main agenda of the meeting is to finalise the statute for making the authority functional,” said Keshav Dhowj Adhikari, joint-secretary and spokesman for the Ministry of Energy. The statute is said to have six articles and clauses.
Energy Secretary Rajendra Kishore Kshatri leads the Nepali side while the Indian team is led by Alok Rawat, secretary at the Ministry of Water Resources.
Once the statute is passed, the governing body of the authority will begin the process to form the executive committee and to appoint the chief executive officer. Nepal and India have agreed to place the headquarters of the authority in Mahendranagar, Kanchanpur. The authority will then expedite the development of the 5,600 megawatt project.
The agreement for the project was reached between the two neighbours in February 1996, during the signing of the Mahakali Treaty. However, there has been no progress so far. The project site in Mahakali Zone covers parts of Darchula, Baitadi and Dadeldhura districts. The two countries exchanged notes on the authority’s terms of reference during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Nepal visit in the first week of August.
The multipurpose project is expected to irrigate 93,000 hectares of land in Nepal, and 1.6 million hectares in India.
Source : eKantipur