Nepal, India to finalise detailed project report of Pancheshwar Multipurpose power plant – Times of India

KATMANDU: Nepal and India have agreed to hold a meeting of experts to “iron out the differences” and finalise the detailed project report of the much-awaited 6,480 megawatt Pancheshwar Multipurpose bi-national power plant to be developed on the bordering Mahakali river, according to a media report on Saturday.
The understanding was reached during a meeting of the governing council of the Pancheshwar Development Authority held in Pokhara in Nepal on Thursday and Friday, The Kathmandu Post newspaper reported.
“The meeting decided to extend the term of the team of experts which expired in March,” the report quoted Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation ministry spokesperson Madhu Bhetuwal as saying.
“The two sides also agreed to hold the next meeting of the team of experts within 10 days to iron out the differences over the DPR (detailed project report) and make a move towards concluding the DPR,” he said.
Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project (PMP) is a bi-national hydropower project to be developed on the Mahakali River bordering Nepal and India. The development of the project is covered under the integrated Mahakali Treaty signed between Nepal and India in 1996 under which equal sizes of underground powerhouses of 3,240 MV will be constructed on each side of the Mahakali river in India and Nepal.
Apart from generating electricity, the project will provide irrigation to 130,000 hectares of land in Nepal and 240,000 hectares in India in addition to other incidental benefits including flood protection.
However, a mutually acceptable DPR of the Pancheshwar Project could not be finalised due to differences on certain contentious issues.
“There were more than 500 unresolved issues which have now come down to 127,” said Bhetuwal, who is also a joint secretary at the energy ministry of Nepal.
The upcoming meeting of the experts, the date of which is yet to be finalised, is the first move towards concluding the DPR after the prime ministers of both countries last month agreed to conclude the DPR within three months during Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda’s India visit from May 31 to June 3, the report said.
During Prachanda’s visit to India, it was agreed that officials of both governments would expedite bilateral discussions towards early finalisation of the Pancheshwar DPR within three months.

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