Nepal and India have agreed to hold a meeting of a high-level team of experts for the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project (PMP) on February 27-28, in Kathmandu.
Earlier, the Pancheshwar Development Authority (PDA), the project developer, had proposed to the concerned authorities of both the countries to hold a meeting this month.
Chiranjivi Chataut, joint secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation and also the additional chief executive officer of PDA, informed that the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWRRDGR), India agreed to the proposal for a meeting after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli raised concerns regarding the development of the project.
According to Chataut, the meeting will finalise the detailed project report (DPR) of the multipurpose project and also hold discussions on downstream benefits and further geological investigations. “This will be the third ‘team of experts’ meeting related to the detailed project report and I hope this meeting will pave a way for the project implementation.”
On April 27 last year, the secretary-level meeting between Nepal and India had extended the deadline to prepare the DPR of the Pancheshwar Project to December, but neither has the DPR been finalised nor a meeting been held yet.
The DPR of the project was prepared by Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS) Ltd, an undertaking of the Indian government.
Chataut further said that both nations need to give life to the 4,800-megawatt capacity multipurpose project, to be constructed on the Mahakali River of the Far-Western Province of Nepal along the India border.
The previous meeting had given momentum to finalise the DPR of the project as soon as possible.
As per Chataut, the meeting will also hold discussions on preparing the policy documents, final bylaws, administration policy and human resources policy of the PDA as soon as possible.
The Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project was conceived under the Mahakali Treaty between Nepal and India in 1996. Apart from generating electricity, the project will provide irrigation facility to 0.13 million hectares of land in Nepal and 0.24 million hectares of land in India in addition to other incidental benefits, including flood protection
Source : The Himalayan Times.