Nepal | May 27, 2020

Governing body of Pancheshwar Authority to meet this week

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, February 28

The governing body of Pancheshwar Development Authority (PDA) is holding a meeting in Kathmandu this week to discuss issues related to the implementation of the 5,600-megawatt Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project being built on the Mahakali River in far-western Nepal.

The members of the governing body are finally gathering after cancelling the meetings twice this fiscal year.

The meeting of the PDA will be held in two phases.

Initially, the joint committee of the PDA will hold its meeting from March 1 to 2. The joint committee, which is meeting for the first time, is headed by joint secretaries of Nepal’s Ministry of Energy (MoE) and the Indian Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWRRDGR).

During the meeting, the Nepali delegation will be headed by MoE Joint Secretary Madhav Prasad Gadtaula, while MoWRRDGR Joint Secretary Amita Prasad will lead the Indian delegation.

Once the two-day meeting of the joint committee concludes, the governing body of the PDA will meet on March 3 and 4. During this meeting, Nepali delegation will be led by MoE Secretary Suman Prasad Sharma, while the Indian delegation will be headed by MoWRRDGR Secretary Shashi Shekhar. This is the third time the governing body is meeting since September 2014 when charter of PDA was finalised.

“The meetings will basically focus on three issues,” said PDA CEO Mahendra Gurung. “First is the organisational structure. Second is budget and programmes for fiscal year 2016. And the third is progress status of WAPCOS Ltd, an Indian state-owned company, which is preparing the detailed project report of the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project.”

Although the proposal to jointly develop the Pancheshwar project was floated almost two decades ago, concrete
developments had not taken place for long.

Things finally started moving forward after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Nepal in August 2014. Then in September 2014, the PDA governing body met for the first time, which led to formal establishment of the PDA.

During that meeting, both sides had agreed to form an executive committee comprising a CEO, an additional CEO and six directors. The meeting had also agreed to appoint the first CEO and three directors from Nepal, and additional CEO and three other directors from India.

Since then Nepal has appointed all executive committee officials, including the CEO and three directors. India has also appointed additional CEO and a director but it is yet to appoint finance and rehabilitation cum resettlement directors.

A version of this article appears in print on February 29, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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