THT 10 YEARS AGO: Nepal, India agree to end border row

New Delhi, June 12, 2007

Officials of Nepal and India have agreed to resolve the Kalapani and Susta disputes on the basis of documents both countries possess.

Representatives of the two countries signed a joint minute in this regard at the end of a two-day meeting of the Joint Technical Committee on Nepal-India Boundary that concluded here today.

The leader of the Nepali team and Director General of Land Survey Department, Toyanath Baral, told this daily here that the 29th meeting of the committee, that was formed 29 years ago to deal with the Indo-Nepal border dispute, was an ice-breaking one.

Both Nepal and India lay claim on some parts of Kalapani and Susta regions. Baral said an understanding was reached to exchange documents and maps in the next meeting that will be held in Kathmandu in September this year.

The leader of the Indian delegation and Survey General of India, Maj Gen Gopal Rao, said the meeting was “highly positive.” He also thanked the Nepali side for taking the initiative to have the row settled. “I toured the Susta region a few days ago and collected data,” he said. “In the meeting we presented evidences of claims that we acquired from different sources,” he added.

The meeting also decided to end the dispute over the Dashgaja area along the border. Both sides have kept almost all records of encroachment along the 1880km-long border and both have agreed to keep the Dashgaja area clean, he added.

According to an official who attended the meeting, the Indian side was more flexible this time around.

House panel asks govt to clarify

Kathmandu, June 12, 2007

The parliamentary Natural Resources and Means Committee (NRMC) has given four days to the government and political parties in parliament to come up with their final positions on a wide range of issues related to the 750 megawatt proposed West Seti Hydropower Project (WSHP).

The decision was taken today following days of debate on the agreement between the government and the Snowy Mountain Engineering Corporation (SMEC) for implementation of the export-oriented project. The SMEC, an Australian company, has plans to generate 750-MW of power and export it to India paying 10 per cent additional royalty over and above what is mentioned in the governing law.

Under the governing law, Nepal is entited to 2 per cent energy royalty on total energy sales for the first 15 years, Rs 100 capacity royalty per kilowat for the first 15 years and 10 per cent energy royalty after 15 years. Capacity royalty per kilowatt goes up to Rs 1000 after 15 years. “Firstly, the government must say why the project should not be looked into in the light of Article 156 of constitution? Next, are we entitled to 10 per cent power as additional royalty or have to settle for cash reimbursement?” CPN-UML MP Prakash Jwala told.