By Pushpa Raj Pradhan
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, during his stay in Delhi, had held a one-on-one meeting with Indian Prime Minister Nadrendra Modi two times. Oli has not shared the dialogue that took place between him and Modi even with the high-level leaders in his own party, CPN UML.
Kamal Koirala, former ambassador and columnist, in his article in Annapurna Post vernacular daily, has suspected that along with the operation of inland waterways, Oli has also agreed for the construction of the Koshi high-dam by India! This is something to delve into by experts and analysts.
India, in the name of construction of the Koshi high-dam, may take in control water and electricity from Sunkoshi, Bhotekoshi, Tamor, Indrawati, Likhu, Arun and Dudhkoshi rivers, Koirala has suspected in his article.
So far, Tarun vernacular weekly, known to be close to NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba, on its 16 April issue, had reported, “Prime Minister KP Oli, during his Delhi sojourn secretly signed an agreement relating to Koshi high dam construction.”
In an informal meeting with some select journalists and CPN-UML hardcore cadres, Vice President of the party Bhim Bahadur Rawal expressed his deep dissatisfaction over the agreement reached between Nepal and India and keeping this hush-hush by PM Oli.
Leaders of both ruling parties have expressed dismay over the clandestine dealing with India. The twelve-point joint press communiqué issued at the end of the visit contain nothing new except waterways and railways.
Upon his arrival, PM Oli, in course of addressing the media at the Tribhuvan International Airport, hinted of such a secret dealing. He said, “Some agreements are yet to come in black and white, it’s not necessary to raise them”.
Future of Budhigandaki project:
The government led by Maoist Center had decided to handover the Budhigandaki reservoir multiple project to a Chinese company. However, the next government headed by Sher Bahadur Deuba decided to suspend the previous government’s decisions.
During the provincial and federal parliament election campaign both KP Sharma Oli and Pushpakamal Dahal supreme leaders of the UML and Maoist Center respectively, had publicly expressed the commitment that once the Left government will be formed, they would cancel the Deuba government’s decision on the Budhigandaki project.
Of late, PM Oli has remained silent on this project. Energy Minister Barshaman Pun is saying that only after comprehensive review of the project, the government is going to take a decision.
All reservoir projects going to India?:
India is facing shortage of water. Besides, India has developed river-linking projects for irrigation and operation of inland ships. Specially during the dry season, the main source of water for the Indian rivers is Nepal’s water kept in a reservoir. Therefore, the Indians, by influencing our leaders, are occupying our big rivers. The fact is that Nepal is facing acute shortage of energy and the country is importing electricity from India to end load-shedding. Without construction of reservoir projects having multiple functions, the load-shedding problem is not going to end, as we will have excessive electricity during the rainy season and shortage of electricity during the dry season. Also, during the dry season, we can use water from such reservoir projects for irrigation of our land.
Unfortunately, neither India constructs such projects nor allows Nepal to handover such projects to any other country.
Did Oli endorse a secret agreement with Delhi?
By Pushpa Raj Pradhan