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Wednesday, October 05 2022
World

Nepal PM Deuba embarks on 3-day India visit

Deuba on India-nepal lad dispute
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Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Friday embarked on a three-day official visit to India, with a delegation of four ministers, members of the business community, journalists and senior government officials.

This is Deuba’s first overseas visit since assuming office in July last year.

The Prime Minister is also being accompanied by his wife, Arzu Rana Deuba.

He will begin his visit meeting with the External Affairs Minister of India, S. Jaishankar, following which he will visit the BJP headquarters and meet the party’s National President J.P. Nadda, among others.

In the evening, he will attend a function at the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi where he will meet and interact with the Nepali diaspora living in India.

On Saturday, Deuba will meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and hold delegation level talks at the Hyderabad House, a key takeaway of the visit.

During the meeting, Modi and Deuba will officially open the Kurtha-Jayanagar railway line, and according to officials, other important issues are likely to be discussed by the two leaders.

India has financed the construction of the railway track where it has spent Rs 10 billion.

The two trains have been doing dry runs since February 13, about a year and a half after they arrived in Nepal from India in September 2020.

India is planning to extend the same railway line up to Bijalpura-Bardibas.

Another agreement related to technical cooperation in the railway sector will be announced, said officials.

Deuba and Modi are also slated to inaugurate the Solu corridor 132 kV double circuit transmission line project which was again financed by India.

The length of the transmission line from Mirchaiya in Siraha to Tinla in Solukhumbu via Udayapur and Okhaldhunga is 90 km and the number of towers is 302. The Exim Bank of India has financed this transmission line.

The project has three 132, 33 and 33, 11 KV substations in which work has already completed.

Similarly, Deuba will also discuss the boundary issue with Modi that had hit bilateral ties bottom low after the former KP Oli Sharma government had published a new map in May 2020 incorporating the Kalapani, Lipulekh and Lipmiyadhura regions.

“We have some boundary issues with India so at any level, the boundary issue will be taken up,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sewa Lamsal said during a press briefing earlier this week.

Officials said that another agreement on power trading which will make it easier for Nepal to sell its energy to the Indian market, is expected to be signed during the visit.

At present, Nepal is selling its spill energy to India mostly in the rainy season and after this agreement, Nepal will sell its energy to India more often.

The reconstruction of the 137 health posts with the Indian assistance damaged by the 2015 earthquake is another possible agreement to be signed during the visit, according to the officials privy to the visit.

Other regular issues like seeking air entry route via India, purchase of chemical fertilizer, issue of inundation, among others will be discussed during the meeting between Deuba and Modi followed the restricted meeting between them on Saturday.

Our regular issues of trade, commerce, investment, widening trade deficit with India, export of Nepali cardamom and ginger in India, completion of the detailed project report of the Pancheshwar Development Authority are other items that will be discussed in the meeting.

Pancheshwar is the part of Mahakali Treaty signed between Nepal and India in 1996 but due to political and technical reason, both sides have yet to give the final touch to the authority that is expected to carry out the Mahakali project further whose main component is generating electricity and distribution of the water in both sides for agriculture purpose.

Another agreement is about the availability of Indian Rupay cards developed by India’s State Bank of India in Nepal.

After the talks and signing the agreement, Deuba will leave for Varanasi.

On April 3, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will call on Deuba.

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