Kathmandu, November 28
If everything goes as planned, construction of the much-hyped Nepal-India Oil Pipeline Project will be completed within March, giving respite to the country which has been relying on tankers for petroleum supply.
The state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has said 60 per cent of the construction work on the Nepali territory has been completed and pipes will be laid along the entire 39.2 km stretch between Amlekhgunj of Nepal and Motihari of India within February.
“Construction of necessary fuel depots at Amlekhgunj is also on full swing and will be completed within the designated time. This means we are on track to complete the project within March,” said NOC Deputy Managing Director SushilBhattarai.
The project’s construction work had been lingering due to delay made by the government in approving the project’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) report. The assessment had to be conducted in areas around the Parsa Wildlife Reserve and a few community forests where the oil pipes are being laid. “The government recently approved the project’s EIA report and construction works are moving ahead swiftly,” said Bhattarai.
NOC has said the “encroachment permit” has also been obtained to cut down trees in the government-designated ‘protected areas’.
The project involves laying 10.75-inch diameter pipes and will have the capacity to supply 200,000 litres of oil per hour. The fuel pumping facilities will be located in Motihari, India. NOC plans to conduct the trial of the project by supplying diesel in the first phase.
The INR 2.75-billion petroleum pipeline project is expected to be instrumental in ensuring uninterrupted supply of petroleum products in Nepal and reduce fuel transportation costs.
A version of this article appears in print on November 29, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.