KATHMANDU, Sept 16: The government has agreed to amendments in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the construction of the Nepal Police Academy at Panauti, Kavre district. The amendments allow India to appoint consultants on its own, among other things.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on November 25, 2014 between the governments of Nepal and India to construct the academy with an assistance of about Rs 8.8 billion. Though the foundation stone for the construction was laid, the project could not make any headway due to contentious provisions in the MoU.
Nepal had refused to allow the Indians to hire consultants on their own, citing various reasons. But during Nepal-India bilateral talks at the home secretary level, Nepal agreed to the hiring of Indian consultants while adhering to international practice in appointing such consultants.
According to Joint-Secretary Koshhari Niraula of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the ministry has forwarded suggestions to the Ministry of Finance to review the MoU in question.
“Nepal is yet to formally write to the Government of India about the recent modifications in the MoU but preparations to this effect were already at the last stage,” said Under-Secretary Lal Bahadur Khatri at the International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division under the Ministry of Finance.
The amendments having materialized, India can design the master plan for the academy, inspect and supervise ongoing work, and implement the budget allocated for the respective jobs.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, both sides were eagerly waiting to expedite the construction work and had vowed not to allow any delay. It was after India demanded a vital role in the construction that Nepal had disagreed over the hiring of consultants.
The project was expected to be completed phasewise over a period of four years but two years have already elapsed with no progress made at all.
The proposed National Police Academy, which will be constructed on over 25 hectares, will provide training to more than 450 Nepal Police officers annually.
A feasibility report on the academy was completed with the assistance of India's National
Police Academy, Hyderabad, according to Nepal Police. A joint project monitoring committee (JPMC) meeting is likely to take place soon in Nepal. The first JPMC meeting was held at the National Police Training Academy, Maharajgunj last year.
The main goal of the academy is to develop human resources for the Nepal Police and foster the academy as 'a center of excellence'.