Nepal And India Agree To Extend The Deadline Of The Pancheshwar's Expert Group To Resolve The Disputes

Nepal And India Agree To Extend The Deadline Of The Pancheshwar's Expert Group To Resolve The Disputes

July 7, 2023, 8:45 a.m.

Nepal and India agreed to extend the deadline of the expert group to resolve the disputes in the detailed project report (DPR) of the Pancheshwar multi-purpose project. The meeting of the governing body of Pancheswar Development Authority held in Pokhara on Thursday decided to activate the expert group by extending the deadline to resolve the dispute within 3 months.

Previously, the term of this expert group had expired in March 2023. The expert group has not been able to sit in a meeting since February 2075 because there could not be a discussion between Nepal and India about the construction of the Pancherswar project.

A water resources official who participated in the meeting informed that the Thursday meeting of the governing body jointly chaired by Nepal's Energy Secretary Dinesh Ghimire and India's Water Resources Secretary Pankaj Kumar decided to extend the deadline of the expert group and call for discussion.

"India has sat in the negotiations in a very positive manner this time," said the official, "now we are confident that the meeting of the expert group will be held immediately and the construction phase will be opened after resolving all the disputes."

During Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda's visit to India on 17-20 June, it was agreed to finalize the detailed project report (DPR) of Pancheshwar multi-purpose project within 3 months. According to the agreement, the Pancheshwar dispute should be resolved within the next 2 months. However, the meeting held on Thursday in Pokhara also decided to give time to the expert group to resolve all disputes within 3 months. It has again fixed a new bhaka in Pancheswar.

Similarly, the meeting also decided to assign full-time employees from Nepal and India to the Pancheshwar Development Authority and regularize the work of the authority. Now, although both the countries have appointed officers for the authority, there is a trend of working from Delhi and Kathmandu instead of going to the office in Mahendranagar.

Even after 27 years of the Mahakali Treaty, the construction of Pancheshwar could not be started due to the negligence of the Indian side in particular. Even though the agenda is formed in each Nepal-India Prime Minister's visit, the two countries have been having disagreements about the project going forward in the DPR itself.

The DPR of the 6,480 MW Panchereshwar multi-purpose project prepared by the consulting company Wapcos against the Mahakali Treaty has not yet been passed, so the project is in confusion. There is an agreement that the two countries will invest in the project on the basis of water sharing. However, there is a dispute between the two countries on how to share water benefits. It has not been decided who will invest in the project.

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