KATHMANDU, Sept 24: India, often criticized in Nepal for unfulfilled promises, is now making significant strides in delivering on agreements made between the two countries. Recent years have seen a notable acceleration in the implementation of several crucial accords, according to government officials.
A number of agreements between Nepal and India during the visit of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to India a few months ago have entered the implementation phase, marking a departure from the traditional narrative of unmet commitments.
A landmark development in bilateral cooperation is the progress in the Nepal-India cross-border electricity trade. During the PM's visit in May, India pledged to actualize its commitment to purchase 10,000 MW of electricity from Nepal over the next decade.
India has also granted approval for the import of an additional 180 MW of electricity, allowing Nepal to export 631 MW of electricity to India. This move is complemented by the opening of platforms for medium-term and real-time markets for power export, in addition to the Day-Ahead-Market. Furthermore, India has activated a 132 kV Tanakpur-Mahendranagar transmission line for power export from Nepal.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has confirmed that electricity produced by hydropower plants such as Chilime (a subsidiary of the NEA), Solu Khola, Kabeli B-1, Likhu-4, Lower Modi, Solu-Dudhkoshi, Dordi Khola, Upper Kalanga Gad, and Upper Chamelia can now be exported under revised conditions.
Of the added electricity, 110 MW is generated from Solu Khola (Dudh Koshi) and Dordi Khola hydropower projects, transmitted via the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line. Additionally, 70 MW generated by Upper Kalanga Gad and Chameliya hydropower projects is supplied through the 132 KV Tanakpur-Mahendranagar transmission lines.
Further bolstering the Nepal-India development partnership since the visit of Nepal's PM is the operationalization of the Kurtha-Bijalpura rail link, enhancing people-to-people connectivity.
Moreover, the bilateral cooperation has also advanced the promotion of cultural heritage, including the post-2015 earthquake reconstruction of Shree Napichandra Mahavihar in Lalitpur, the reconstruction of Budhanilkantha Dharamshala in Budhanilkantha Municipality, and the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in Lumbini, as reported by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
Officials at the Embassy of India in Kathmandu said that the construction of various community development projects under Indian grants has been expedited. Notable projects include the building of Himalaya Kiran Public Campus in Khandbari Municipality of Sankhuwasabha district (completed on September 6, 2023), and three projects in Sudurpashchim Province, including Tikapur Multiple Campus in Kailali district, Shree Pashupati Shiksha Mandir, and Shree Siddhanath Secondary School in Kanchanpur district (completed on September 17, 2023).
Since 2003, India has implemented 546 projects aimed at benefiting local communities across various districts in Nepal. On August 15, 2023, India reconstructed the Shree Bishnudevi Secondary School building in Chandragiri, Kathmandu. Additionally, on August 4, 2023, a memorandum of understanding was signed for four new Community Development Projects encompassing education, water supply, and sanitation in Darchula, Sankhuwasabha, and Udayapur districts.