Nepal and Inida agreed to finalize the detailed project report (DPR) of the Pancheswar multi-purpose project in three months. The energy secretaries of Nepal and India have reached an agreement to finalize the DPR in the next three months, which was drawn up by the Mahakali Treaty signed between Nepal and India 28 years ago.
The board meeting of Pancheswar Development Authority held in Pokhara y agreed to finalize the DPR within three months. The meeting also extended the term of the expert group formed by the governments of both the countries to finalize the DPR and to help in its implementation by six months.
The meeting was held under the co-chairmanship of Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation of Nepal and Pankaj Kumar, Secretary of the Ministry of Water Power of India.
During the visit of former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and current Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' to India at different times, the Pancheshwar project was also discussed between the Prime Ministers of the two countries. During Prime Minister Prachanda's visit to India last May, the two counterparts agreed to finalize the Pancheshwar DPR within three months.
Energy Secretary Ghimire said that the issues that were seriously discussed at the Prime Minister's level were also taken sensitively by the Authority's Board of Directors and the necessary decisions were taken.
He said, "Now, the Indian side is also showing enthusiasm that the project should not be prolonged, but should be taken to construction." Even during Prime Minister Prachanda's visit to India, the Indian side was ready to reduce the issue of dispute.
At that time, it was mentioned in the DPR that Nepal was taking 5 percent water utility benefit in the calculation of upper coastal benefits of Pancheshwar project. But the Nepal side reduced it to 1 percent saying that this level of utility is not being created.
The DPR of the multi-purpose project to be developed on the Mahakali river has been a matter of controversy for years. In the past, there were disagreements between the two parties on the 500 points of the DPR.
The meeting also made various decisions regarding the administrative reform of the authority and maintaining administrative rigor. According to the ministry, it has been agreed that the meeting of the expert group will be held within 10 days. It is said that the executive members of both the countries will be sent to the head office of the authority within a month to promote the activities on the ground.
Since the meeting had not been held for a long time, the budget of the authority could not be approved. This meeting has approved the budget for four financial years from 2019 to 2022 and also approved the budget for 2023. In the Mahakali treaty between Nepal and India in the year 2052, it was agreed to prepare a detailed project report for the construction of Pancheshwar multi-purpose project.