Nepal-India Joint Commission on Water Resources agree on half-dozen projects


Jan 12, 2019-

India has agreed to construct embankment along Nepal’s west Rapti, Badganga and Khando rivers. The agreement was reached during the meeting of eighth Nepal-India secretary-level Joint Commission on Water Resources (JCWR) on Friday. The meeting also agreed on half-dozen other projects.

Constructing link canal between Tanakpur dam to Mahakali Irrigation Project in Nepali side as per the Mahakali Treaty and Saptakoshi high-dam multipurpose project were also discussed in the meeting. Although 23 years have been passed since the Mahakali Treaty, the Mahakali Irrigation Project has not been completed due to India’s failure in constructing the link canal. Likewise, India has also agreed to pay Rs 260 million to Nepal that it owed for the embankment of Lalbakaiya, Kamala and Bagmati Rivers.

Nepali representatives have been strongly raising the issue of flooding on Nepali side due to the road and dams built by India on its border. An official present at the meeting said that India has agreed to implement the suggestion given by a Joint Technical Committee that conducted a field study on the flooding problems. Every year, Nepal faces a huge flooding problem due to five-dozen embankments and dam built by India obstructing the natural flow of the river.

Furthermore, both the sides have agreed to share statistics on flood forecast. The meeting decided to form a three-member technical team for this matter which will finalise the modality of data sharing.

Agendas that failed to gain momentum

While many issues of contention regarding water resource between Nepal and India were resolved during the meeting, some other contentious issues yet to be resolved.

No consensus was reached on Gandak and Koshi agreements which Nepal has been raising for a long time. Nepal has been demanding compensation of Rs 500 million to the families who were displaced while constructing the Koshi Barrage as per the Koshi Agreement. India, on the other hand, has been claiming that it has already paid the due amount. The Indian side reiterated same stance during Friday’s meet, according to a source present at the meeting.

Likewise, Nepali side also asked the Indian side to pay compensation for the damage of crops due to India’s failure in performing periodic maintenance of the canals as per the Gandak Agreement. Nepal has been claiming Rs three billion compensation from India.

In response, India said that there was no such provision in the agreement and refused to pay the money, said an official present in the meeting.

Energy and Irrigation Secretary Sanjay Kumar Sharma had led the Nepali team while water secretary UP Singh had led the Indian delegation in the meeting.



Published: 12-01-2019 15:06

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