New Delhi: In a significant move, India on Thursday agreed to allow Nepal to sell power to Bangladesh using the Indian transmission network under a trilateral arrangement, in a move that is seen as significant for greater regional cooperation.
The Indian side conveyed its decision to Nepal during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Pushpakamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, officials said.
In further broadbasing their already close ties, India and Nepal inked seven pacts covering connectivity, hydro-electric power, petroleum infrastructure, cross border payment mechanism and construction of integrated check posts.
The two sides also extensively discussed ways to launch air connectivity to various towns in Nepal from India besides strengthening railway networks.
Following the talks, Modi and Prachanda remotely unveiled the Kurtha-Bijalpura section of railway line, virtually flagged off a Indian cargo train from Bathnaha (India) to Nepal Customs Yard that operated on a newly constructed rail link under Indian grant.
The two leaders also inaugurated Integrated Checkposts (ICPs) at Nepalgunj in Nepal and Rupaidiha on the Indian side.
They also remotely joined the ground breaking ceremonies for ICPs at Bhairahawa (Nepal) and Sonauli (India), phase-II project under Motihari-Amlekhgunj petroleum pipeline and kick started the project for construction of the Indian portion of Gorakhpur-Bhutwal transmission line.
India and Nepal also signed seven pacts which included a revised treaty of transit that was described by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra as “once in a generation kind of an agreement” as it would provide Nepal access to inland waterways of India for the first time and expected to contribute very significantly to expansion of trade and investment linkages.
“Today Prime Minister Prachanda ji and I have taken many important decisions to make our partnership a super hit in the future,” Modi said in his media statement.
“Today the Transit Agreement has been concluded. In this, along with new rail routes for the people of Nepal, provision has also been made for the facility of India’s inland waterways,” he said.
Modi said a decision was taken to increase physical connectivity by setting up new rail links.
“To boost connectivity to the far western region of Nepal, two more bridges will be built at Shirsha and Jhulaghat. We welcome the steps taken in financial connectivity through cross border digital payments,” he said.
“Thousands of students, lakhs of tourists and pilgrims as well as patients who have come to India for medical treatment will also be benefitted by this,” he added.