Nepal to press for implementation of pacts with India

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 26, 2016-

The fourth meeting of Nepal-India Joint Commission at Foreign Minister level will focus on implementing the past agreements signed between the two countries. The meeting takes place in New Delhi on Thursday.

The meeting comes at a time when the India-funded projects could not make tangible progress. The joint panel is the highest level bilateral mechanism between the two neighbours that is mandated to review bilateral ties, direct relevant officials

to resolve the pending issues and chart out the future course of the ties.

Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat is leaving for New Delhi on Wednesday for the meeting which he is scheduled to co-chair with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. The Nepali delegation includes Foreign Secretary and other senior government officials.

“The meeting will make a comprehensive review of the bilateral ties,” said Minister Mahat on Tuesday. The two countries had agreed on most of the issues and agendas during recent high-level visits, he added. “We want to see tangible progress on India funded projects in Nepal and want their early execution.”The two countries have recently formed a joint mechanism to expedite the pace of India funded projects in Nepal.

Mahat said that bilateral matters like India funded roads, cross border connectivity (railways, roads and bridges), water resources, inundation, security matters, boundary row, completing the detailed project report of the much-touted Pancheshwar Development Authority that is executing the 4,800MW hydropower project in Nepal are among the agendas of the meeting.

The Indian side is keen on discussing security related matters like signing of Extradition Treaty along with Mutual Legal Assistance, curbing criminal activities in the bordering areas and sharing information on illicit activities among others.

“But chances of signing the extradition agreement any time soon are slim,” Mahat said.

On inundation issue, Nepal will tell India that natural flow of water should be ensured and it should not be stopped.

Nepal will seek field office in Visakhapatnam port area to use the port for export and import for third country and will seek Indian markets to various Nepali products.

Issues like construction of integrated check posts at the Nepal-India border, power trade, implementation of Mahakali Treaty, road connectivity, construction of cross border petroleum pipeline, compensation of various victims affected by inundation, trade, transit and fixing the modality of Indian reconstruction aid to Nepal will feature in the meeting, Mahat explained.

On reconstruction front, India has proposed to use a portion of its grant to rebuild houses damaged by the earthquakes in Gorkha and Nuwakot.

On boundary issues, Nepal and India will seek some changes to the design of pillars located in the areas along river banks though the both sides have achieved progress in installing the boundary pillars.

“The meeting will review the progress made by the technical team in boundary pillar installation and clearing the No-man’s land,” said Mahat.

The Nepali side will also tell the Indian side that Nepal will build the Sunkoshi Diversion, splitting it from the Sapta Koshi Multi Purpose Project. Any remaining glitches in the implementation of the Power Trade Agreement between Nepal and India will be ironed out during the meeting, Mahat said.



Published: 26-10-2016 09:10

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