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Nepal, India fail to reach decision on dam project

Statesman News Service |

Press Trust of India
Kathmandu, 14 September
Nepal and India have agreed to expedite work on power trade but were unable to reach a decision on the 5,600-MW Pancheshwar multi-purpose dam project, proposed 15 years ago for sharing power and water on 50-50 basis.
A proposal for finalising a detailed project report for the Pancheshwar project figured during the two-day meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Technical Standing Committee, which was held here after a gap of two years.
However, the two sides were unable to reach a decision on finalising the detailed project report, said a press release issued today by Nepal’s Department of Energy.
India and Nepal reached an initial agreement to develop the Pancheshwar project on the Sarada river some 15 years ago though work could not move forward due to the political instability in Nepal.
The Joint Technical Standing Committee, whose meeting concluded yesterday, also discussed the establishment of a Pancheshwar Development Joint Authority to expedite work on the venture.
The panel agreed to expedite work on power trade, a cross-country transmission line, energy banking and exchanging information on a flood control mechanism.
The two sides reviewed the ongoing construction of dams on Bagmati, Kamala and Lalbakaiya rivers. They also discussed matters related to head regulator of the Tanakpur Barrage under the Mahakali Treaty and irrigation facilities in Chadani Dodhara area.
The Saptakoshi High Dam Multipurpose project, study of Sunkoshi-Kamala diversion project and Koshi and Gandak projects also figured in the talks. The two sides also reviewed progress made in bilateral water resources projects and discussed issues related to water resources, electricity, flood forecasting and flood control.
The Nepalese delegation was led by Shiv Kumar Sharma, director general of the Department of Immigration, and the Indian side was led by Bibhas Kumar, chairman of the Ganga Flood Control Commission of India. The officials have agreed to convene the next meeting in India in February next year.