Kathmandu, November 15
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said today that India’s “unofficial blockade” had led to a humanitarian crisis in the country.
In his first address to the nation after being elected the prime minister over a month ago, PM Oli said there was no doubt that Indo-Nepal relationship had turned sour. He, therefore, requested the southern neighbour to contribute towards ending the crisis.
He said that India’s blockade had violated the UN Charter, principles of Panchasheel, the SAARC Charter, transit rights of landlocked countries and Indo-Nepal Trade and Transit Treaty, and hurt the sentiments of people of both countries.
He added that Nepal wanted to develop cordial relationship with all friendly countries, including neighbouring India and China on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
Referring to hydropower development agreements signed with India, PM Oli said recent developments had adversely affected the possibility of economic cooperation between the two countries. He also urged the Indian government to resume supply of essential goods to Nepal.
On a different note, PM Oli said boundaries of the proposed provinces could be redrawn as per necessity and the process of amending the statute could begin in consultation with the agitating and other major parties in the Parliament. “Constitution is a dynamic document and it can be amended on the basis of people’s aspiration and national interests,” he said. He also urged the agitating parties to resolve issues through dialogue.
PM Oli said that the government had already started providing Rs 1 million cash relief each to the families of those killed during the Madhes agitation and withdrawing cases filed against the agitators.
He also said the National Reconstruction Authority would be formed soon after the Parliament endorsed the revised bill on its formation.
The PM said Nepal was against impunity and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission for the Inquiry of Disappeared Persons were formed to investigate incidents of serious human rights violations during the conflict.
He also thanked China for supporting Nepal in hour of need and said the government would upgrade road links to China.
In his address to the nation today, Oli also revealed several ambitious plans, including the policy of promoting domestic products.
He said the government would begin groundwork for developing metro rail in the Kathmandu Valley and electronic rail service up to border areas, and upgrading East-West Highway to four lanes.
The PM said the government would review the existing development strategy and expedite construction of national pride projects, including Pushpalal Lokmarga, Hulaki Marga, Kathmandu-Tarai fast track, and upgrade Tribhuvan International Airport.
Claiming that 200 MW of solar energy would be produced and linked with the national grid within a year, he said the government will end load shedding within a year.
“The government will also revive the halted oil exploration projects and come up with plans to promote agriculture to make the country self-reliant in food,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on November 16, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.