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Technical team to study inland waterways

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 17, 2018-Nepal and India have agreed to form a team to carry out the field study on both sides to develop the inland waterway navigations from River Ganga in India to Nepali border via Kosi and Gandak (Narayani) rivers.

This is the first consultation meeting on Inland Waterways Connectivity after the two countries reached an agreement during Prime Minister KP Oli’s visit to India in April. The two-day meeting concluded with the two sides agreeing to deploy technical scoping missions to for techno-economic feasibility studies of riverine routes on either side, an Indian Embassy tweets read.

During the meeting, the Indian side had also offered to initiate capacity development of Inland Waterways professionals in Nepal.

“It is possible to develop inland waterways in Nepali rivers, especially in Narayani, probably after two years,” Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali told a press conference at the Foreign Ministry on Monday.

Initially, it is explored that cargo up to 300 metric tons can be navigate from India to Nepal via waterways.

“There is a scope of inland waterway navigation in Kosi and Narayani rivers which can be linked with third counties, including Bangladesh via Haldiya, India. It will contribute to Nepal’s economic development,” The Water and Energy Commission Secretariat said in a statement. The technical team will make a filed visit in appropriate time, the WECS added.

The Indian team will visit Kosi and Narayani rivers, while the Nepali technical team will visit Calcutta, Haldiya-Varanali section where India is developing the inland waterways.

After field visits, both sides will present their suggestions and form a bilateral mechanism to carry on the further works, the statement reads.

Officials from the two sides had discussed various dynamics of developing waterways in Kosi, Narayani and Karnali rivers of Nepal.  

They also discussed developing a modality of inland waterways and its procedure, with the Indian side agreeing to train Nepali manpower and build an institutional capability.

Joint Secretary at WECS Madhav Belbase led the Nepali delegation at the meeting, while the Indian side was headed by Vice-president of Inland Waterway Authority of India Prabir Pandey.

Published: 17-07-2018 08:43

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