Kathmandu, March 11
The India government has again assured it would import electricity from Nepal in the near future.
During a meeting between Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun and Indian Power Secretary Sanjiv Nandan Sahai here today, both the governments have agreed to expedite the implementation of existing power trade agreement between the two countries.
In the meeting, Minister Pun urged neighbouring India to purchase electricity from Nepal.
While Nepal is currently buying power from India, Minister Pun said that very soon Nepal will be self-reliant on electricity and urged for the process of power trade to be accelerated.
As per the power trade agreement between Nepal and India, which has already been signed by Nepal Electricity Authority and the Central Electricity Authority of India (CEA), Minister Pun urged India to buy electricity from Nepal in bulk.
However, as the Indian Power Ministry has not given consent to the CEA for necessary measures to carry out power trade with Nepal, the process has been delayed. In this regard, Minister Pun urged Sahai to expedite the preparatory work for power trade as per the agreement between the two countries.
In response, Secretary Sahai promised that the Indian government will facilitate the process to initiate power trade between the two nations soon.
Minister Pun reminded Sahai that both the countries had previously discussed and agreed on the formation of a joint venture company for the construction of 400 kVA cross-border transmission line of Butwal-Gorakhpur and stated that the work should be completed at any cost.
Pun further informed that the government has started the work to generate electricity from 1,200-megawatt Budigandaki, 765MW Tamor reservoir and 635MW Dudhkoshi and that the projects would benefit both countries in terms of flood control, irrigation, drinking water, water transport, among others.
In the meeting, Minister Pun proposed cooperation on such projects and requested the Indian government and private sector companies to pour in further investment in such mega projects in Nepal. “The government has created conducive environment for foreign investment, especially in hydropower projects.”
Secretary Sahai expressed confidence that the work on the Electricity Trade Agreement and the construction of the cross-border transmission line will proceed very soon.
A version of this article appears in print on March 12, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.