KATHMANDU, May 4: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are set to jointly lay a foundation stone for Arun III during the latter's two- day official visit to Nepal slated for May 11-12.
PM Oli and his Indian counterpart Modi were scheduled to jointly lay the foundation stone of the Arun III hydropower project during the latter's Nepal visit.
Earllier, a plan to lay the foundation stone for the project worth Rs 104 billion during PM Oli's visit to India on April 6-8 was canceled at the eleventh hour after CPN-UML leaders insisted on inaugurating the project within the Nepali territory.
As per the suggestions by UML leaders, PM Oli had asked the Indian side to remove the agenda from the meeting and proposed to inaugurate the project from Kathmandu itself during Modi's visit to Nepal.
A Project Development Agreement (PDA) for Arun III was signed with India's state-owned Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam on November 25, 2014, in the presence of then Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and visiting Indian Prime Minister Modi.
The Arun III project had been canceled in 1990 over environmental objections, misgivings over already high power tariffs, questions of whether or not such a huge project was needed, and the negative impact of the approaching road. The World Bank withdrew its financing from the project in 1995.
PM Modi will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at Tundikhel in Kathmandu on May 11. The visiting dignitary will also inspect the guard of honor, informed Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
Issuing a press release on Friday, MOFA stated that during the visit, the PM of India will pay calls on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun. PM Oli will hold official talks with his counterpart on May 11 and exchange views on matters of mutual interests.
During his stay in Nepal, Modi will also visit Janakpur and Muktinath. He will attend civic receptions to be organized in his honor by Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Janakpur sub-Metropolitan City in Kathmandu and Janakpur respectively.