Pancheshwor Project on PM’s agenda: Mahat

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    Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, who left for New Delhi on Sunday to lay the groundwork for Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s upcoming state visit to the India, has said that an agreement to expedite the Pancheshwor Project will be one of the main agenda that the prime minister will take up with the Indian side.

    Pancheshwor is part of the much-touted and  controversial Mahakali Treaty signed between Nepal and India in 1996 that proposes 4,800MW power generation. Irrigation, dam and water sharing are also among the components of this project.

    Foreign Minister Mahat flew to New Delhi ahead of Prime Minister Dahal to fix the agenda for the latter’s visit. The prime minister will embark on a four-day state visit to India on Thursday.

    Before flying to New Delhi, Foreign Minister Mahat told reporters that the prime minister’s visit will mostly be focused on economic agenda.

    He said that the two sides are also looking for some kind of modality on using the $1 billion soft loan announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nepal in 2014.

    Issues like postal road construction, flood problems faced by Nepali border villages because of structures built on the Indian side, and support to the earthquake survivors will also be discussed, he added.

    Prime Minister Dahal is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary S Jaishanker, among others.

    He will also pay a courtsey call on Indian President Pranab Mukharjee as well as meet senior government officials and leaders of ruling and opposition parties.

    Besides, he will also visit India’s Himanchal state where he is due to tour a hydropower project.

    The prime minister will return on September 18.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post