Re­viv­ing part­ner­ships

Southasia - - Briefing -

Af­ter a two-year hia­tus, the Nepal-in­dia Com­mit­tee on Water Re­sources has re­sumed talks. The six­teen mem­ber Nepalese del­e­ga­tion led by Nepal’s En­ergy Sec­re­tary, Balananda Poudel, met with the twenty-mem­ber del­e­ga­tion headed by In­dian Water Re­sources Sec­re­tary, Dhruv Vi­jay Singh. The two-day meet­ing dis­cussed hy­dropower projects, such as the Panch­eswor and Sapta Koshi­high dams that pre­vi­ously failed to de­velop, ad­dressed the Sunkoshi-ka­mala di­ver­sion project and pro­posed a frame­work for a bi­lat­eral power trade agree­ment.

Nepal cur­rently imports 134 MW from In­dia but will be able to im­port an additional 150 MW, if Rs.29 crore is spent to de­velop its in­fra­struc­ture. A shar­ing of real-time flood data, pro­posed by the del­e­gates, will also help al­le­vi­ate flood dam­age in the re­gion.

The re­vival of such meet­ings is seen as a pos­i­tive step in both coun­tries and sig­nals the se­ri­ous­ness of cli­mate change and nat­u­ral dis­as­ter oc­cur­rence in South Asia. With In­dia ex­pand­ing its trade in the re­gion at large, neigh­bor­ing Nepal could be an ex­cel­lent trade and strate­gic part­ner.

Dur­ing the meet­ings how­ever, the In­dian del­e­ga­tion ex­pressed a level of hes­i­tancy to dis­cuss long-term ef­fects due to po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity in Nepal. De­vel­op­ment projects re­quire ap­proval from a two-thirds ma­jor­ity in the Nepalese Par­lia­ment. Like pre­vi­ous bi­lat­eral projects that have been stalled, In­dia is ap­pre­hen­sive to make the same mis­take again.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.