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Sunday, 27 January 2013

Nepal, India to work on another crossborder power transmission line

Nepal, India to work on another crossborder power transmission line

Nepal and India have agreed to work for the second cross-border line for the import and export of electricity from both the sides.
In the seventh meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Committee on Water Resources ( JCWR ) that concluded here on Friday, the two countries agreed to work for the line connecting Gorakhpur in India and a suitable location near Bardaghat in Nepal under the government-to-government cooperation. “The JCWR decided that the Nepalese side would prepare a concept paper along with the available technical details and send it to the Indian side for review,” the minutes of the meeting state.

In the meeting, Nepali officials proposed the transmission line as the implementation of the 400kv Dhalkebar-Mujaffarpur Cross Border Transmission Line, which was meant to be developed and operated on a commercial mode, is taking some time despite efforts from both the sides. The meeting also decided to take forward the Pancheshwar Multi Purpose Project, while participants reiterated the need for field work in the Rupaligad dam and powerhouse sites, which is pending for the last couple of years. However, India sought more time for the formation of the much-talked-about Pancheshwar Development Authority. On the Koshi High Dam project, the Nepali side brought up the issue of compensation for private land. The project has led to the erosion of 1,516 bighas of land during 1961-1964; 3,948 bighas in 1965-1968 and an additional 2,226 bighas later, which was jointly verified by both the sides.

“The compensation rates have been determined and the Nepalese side said the issue needs to be resolved with priority,” the minutes further said.

The Indian side agreed to take up the responsibility of maintaining the 15 km eastern Koshi embankment, upstream of Chakarghatti. It also agreed to speed up restoration work of the Birpur powerhouse, which was damaged in 2008, while agreeing to address grievances and requests that have come up on the Gandak project.

In the meeting, the Nepali side proposed the concept of ‘energy banking’ to be implemented in order to address seasonal disparities in demand and supply of electricity in the two countries at direct utility level or through various traders.

The Indian side agreed to extend financial and technical support in the West Rapti, Khando, Balan and Lakhandehi rivers, while the detailed project reports (DPR) of the projects, prepared by the Nepali side, have been handed over to the Indian side.

The meeting also talked holding the second meeting of the joint-ministerial level commission on water resources in Kathmandu, flood forecasting activities on rivers flowing from Nepal to India, the proposed Naumure hydro-power project, embankments on the Mechi river, review of activities of various bilateral committees, release of irrigation water for the Chandani-Dodhara area and the Tanakpur-Mahendranagar link road.

Energy Secretary Hari Ram Koirala and his Indian counterpart Dhurv Vijai Singh had led the respective sides in the talks.