By Our Reporter
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli returned home on Sunday evening after concluding his three-day official trip to Delhi.
Upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport Sunday evening, Oli briefed the Kathmandu press that he has been able to develop an environment of confidence in relations between the two countries, Nepal and India.
“We didn’t endorse any agreement just to show to others, but we have held historical discussions on many bilateral issues in an open manner”, Oli said.
“We have held open discussions on many issues, however, endorsed very few but historical agreements,” the PM said.
Oli said that serious discussions were held on inundation of Nepali soil in the tarai area, Pancheshwar project, Susta border disputes, new air routes, operation of Nepali gas bullets in India, among others.
Oli further added that both the sides have agreed to resolve the problems through bilateral talks.
Oli claimed that his visit has been able to bag historical achievement.
Doubts on implementation part:
Indian Prime Minister Modi, since he assumed office, has welcomed three Nepali prime ministers – Pushpakamal Dahal Prachanda, Sher Bahadur Deuba and KP Oli. This is the second visit paid by Oli to India as the prime minister. In every visit, the Indian Prime Minister has given assurance in resolving bilateral issues and supporting Nepal in infrastructural development. However, the Indian assurances have never materialized. Even after more than two decades of signing on the Pancheshwar Project, still, both the parties are engaged in preparation of DPR of the project.
India has agreed to construct the Upper Karnali project but every time, the Indian contractor GMR is extending its starting time and occupying the project. GMR has not been able to manage necessary funds for construction of the project. Nepali hydropower experts believe that GMR cannot manage funds, therefore, the government should dismiss the contract and rethink on the project in a new modality.
In a country like Nepal, a reservoir based hydropower project is very important as during the dry season the run-of-the-river projects cannot generate electricity as per the capacity and during the rainy season, there will be surplus electricity. Therefore, to meet the electricity need of the country during dry seasons, Nepal should focus on reservoir based projects. Furthermore, reserved water can be utilized for irrigation for Nepali and Indian agricultural land during the dry season. Therefore, Nepal should be benefited from the water supplied to India during the dry season as high-dam projects will help to control floods in India during rainy seasons and India will receive water during the dry seasons.
Nepal had handed over the Budhigandaki reservoir based project to a Chinese company, however, later, the government scrapped the deal. Budhigandaki is an important project for irrigation as well as to end load-shedding during the dry seasons.
By scrapping the project, Nepal has not only lost its image but also has made construction of the project uncertain.
Prime Minister Oli, during his election campaign, had repeatedly said that once his party will form the government, he will alter the decision endorsed by the then Deuba led government. In an interview to a Hong Kong based newspaper, he had expressed the commitment for handing over the Budhigandaki project to the Chinese company again.
The public feeling about India is that she is not interested in construction of infrastructural projects having economic potentiality. However, India, to stop other countries from investing in such projects, occupies the projects but never constructs them. Thus India is eying on Budhigandaki project also. However, the very Nepali people believe that if such projects are handed over to China, she will construct and complete the projects on time.
India has not enough money to invest in huge projects and she is seeking foreign funding to complete many infrastructural projects within India. On the other hand, China is holding huge funds to invest in infrastructural projects abroad. With this concept, China has initiated the Belt and Road Initiative.
The construction of a railway line by India is not a new proposal since the idea was floated earlier to the construction of the Tribhuwan Highway. Therefore, the Nepali people don’t believe in the construction of the Birgunj-Kathmandu railway line by India soon.
PM Oli returns home in jolly mood
By Our Reporter