Nepal-India joint task force meet begins

Kathmandu, January 28

The meeting of Nepal-India joint task force began in the capital today. The meeting is aimed at laying the ground for implementation of the Power Trade Agreement signed between the two countries in September 2014.

Deputy Director General at the Electricity Development Department Madhu Prasad Bhetwal said the two sides discussed possible ways to facilitate power trade between the two countries and infrastructures to be set up for the purpose.

Similarly, the two sides also dwelt on projects to be constructed by 2035 and transmission lines to be set up for import and export of energy between the two countries. Bhetwal leads the Nepali team while Ghanashyam Prasad of Electricity Ministry of India is leading the team from India. The secretary-level meeting tomorrow will be led by Energy Secretary Suman Prasad Sharma.

Six border points have been proposed for power trade between the countries — Attariya, Lamki, Kohalpur, Butwal, Dhalkebar and Duhabi. The transmission line will be of 400 KV. As per the proposed action plan, transmission lines would be laid for the export of electricity generated by Upper Karnali and Arun III.

Spokesperson for the energy ministry Sanjay Sharma shared that the bilateral meeting focused on advancing the works on interstate transmission lines.

The delay in holding the meeting had affected formulation of a master plan for laying transmission lines and constructing necessary physical infrastructures. The PTA states that a meeting of the task force at joint secretary-level would be held every six months and the standing committee meeting at secretary-level annually.

The secretary-level meeting is expected to sign a bilateral agreement following discussions on the master plan relating to the construction of transmission line. Today’s meeting discussed technical matters, while the meeting tomorrow will approve the decisions of the previous meeting, according to Bhetwal.