Pancheshwor to top water talks agenda

KATHMANDU: The meeting of Joint Committee on Water Resource (JCWR) between Nepal and India will take place on November 20 and 21 in Kathmandu.

The meeting was supposed to take place in the first week of November.

Minister for Energy Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat today said that it was getting late to hold the JCWR meeting. The main agenda of the meeting will be the Pancheshwor Multipurpose Project (PMP).

Sources at the ministry claimed that the JCWR meeting would take final decision to establish a project development authority for the development, execution and operation of the project.

During the PM Madhav Kumar Nepal's India visit, PMs of both the countries had agreed to accelerate the implementation of the project.

According to a joint press statement issued then, both PMs directed the Joint Ministerial Commission on Water Resources and JCWR to expedite the finalisation of Terms of Reference for Pancheshwor Development Authority and Detailed Project Report.

However, there has been disagreement over the leadership of the authority as both the countries are eying the post.

Speaking with this daily, Dilli Bahadur Singh, PMP Project Manager from Nepali side, said that they had prepared the detailed work plan. "With the establishment of the authority, the task will be expedited."

Singh further added that there should not be further delay on the project as both countries could be heavily benefited from it. He said that there would not be any problem regarding the investment of the project.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has also been saying at various forums that he wants to move the project ahead during his tenure.

However, the main opposition — Unified CPN-Maoist — has been maintaining that the project should be moved ahead once the constitution drafting process is completed.