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Nepal, India agree to expedite stalled Pancheshwar project


KATHMANDU (PTI): Nepal and India have agreed to expedite the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Development Project, pending for 17 years, which has the capacity to generate 6,720 MW of hydropower along with increased irrigation facilities.

The first meeting of the governing body of the Pancheshwar Development Authority (PDA) was convened here on September 22 and ended yesterday.

The project on the Mahakali river is seen as a landmark development in Nepal-India cooperation in hydropower sector.

“The meeting observed as to how Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project was halted for a long period and now the strong impetus of the two prime ministers during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal in August 2014 has led to this first meeting which will pave way for expediting the project,” said a statement issued by the Indian Embassy here.

The meeting has finalised and approved the statute for the Pancheshwar Development Authority (PDA), which includes guidelines for establishment and functioning of the authority, formation of the governing body, executive committee and appointment of Chief Executive Officer and other officials.

At the meeting, the Indian delegation was led by Alok Rawat, Secretary in Ministry of Water Resources while the Nepalese delegation was led by Rajendra Kishore Kshetri, Secretary in Nepal’s Ministry of Water Resources.

As per the agreement, the first CEO of the project will be from Nepal while the first additional CEO will be from India.

The headquarters of the authority will be stationed in Mahendranagar in western Nepal.

The meeting also underlined the need for updating the existing Detailed Project Report (DPR)/ Feasibility Study Report of the project prepared separately by India and Nepal in view of the changes in socio-economic data, availability of additional hydro-meteorological data, and increase in construction cost. The two reports will be integrated to produce a single DPR of the project, the statement said.

Work of DPR preparation of the project, including the re-regulating dam at Rupaligad, should be carried out in an integrated manner within a 6-month period and should be entrusted to a competent consulting firm, the meeting noted.

During the meeting the two sides have also agreed to establish a corpus fund for the PDA for its initial activities totalling Rs 20 crores (NRs 32 crores) or to be shared equally by the two sides. The corpus fund will be a part of the total project cost.

During the meeting the two sides have also agreed to establish a corpus fund for the PDA for its initial activities totalling Rs 20 crores (NRs 32 crores) or to be shared equally by the two sides. The corpus fund will be a part of the total project cost.

It has also been agreed to convene the next meeting of the governing body of the PDA in New Delhi within one month.

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