KATHMANDU, July 17: The first Nepal-India meeting on inland waterway connectivity concluded on Monday with an agreement to hold further discussions after making a field study of Koshi and Narayani rivers.
The two-day meeting of the officials from the government bodies concerned of Nepal and India held in Kathmandu reached an agreement to form a Technical Scoping Commission at the earliest and conduct feasibility study. Nepali Technical Scoping Commission will make a study tour to Kolkotta Haldiya – Baranasi Inland Waterways currently under construction in the Ganges River to gain more experience on inland waterway at the convenient time.
Similarly, Indian Technical Scoping Commission which will comprise technical experts shall visit Koshi and Narayani rivers on the Nepali side of the border before the two countries sit again for talks, according to joint secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Madhav Belbase, who led the Nepali delegation in the talks.
Vice Chairman of Inland Waterway Authority of India Prabir Pandey, who led the Indian delegation, arrived in Kathmandu for the meeting.
Belbase said there has been an agreement to form a bilateral institutional mechanism at the recommendations made after the field study conducted by both Nepali and Indian teams. During the two-day meeting, Nepal and India discussed technical and economic viability and various dimensions of inland waterways in Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali.
The two sides also held discussions on Indian inland waterway development method and modality. The Indian side, according to a press statement issued by the Secretariat of Water and Energy Commission, has assured to provide necessary support to provide training to human resources and enhance institutional capacity of Nepal.