Prachanda agrees on energy diplomacy and Ramayana circuit


how much india to nepal Exports electricity, this information was shared by the Ministry of External Affairs of India through a PDF on March 22, 2022. Till last year, 600 MW of power was being sent from India to Nepal, so that it could get relief from energy crisis. On June 1, 2023, the Kathmandu Post reported a story titled ‘Power shortages continue a generation slumps’, reporting that the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is unable to provide electricity to factories in the Terai region on time . The reason for this is the low water level. It was also told in the news that the electricity that Nepal is importing from India is expensive. Now tell, the country which is suffering from power shortage, that Bangladesh is asking for a corridor from India for the export of electricity. This thing is not acceptable.

NEA spokesperson Suresh Bhattarai says that the total hydropower generation in Nepal is 700 to 800 MW. Nepal is able to produce 1300 MW of electricity by combining coal, diesel and renewable energy. These days the Nepal Electricity Authority is cutting power for six hours in the industrial areas of Terai. An interesting news was published by the Kathmandu Post itself on May 17, 2023. Nepal-Bangladesh in the fifth meeting for energy cooperation at the secretary level decided under an agreement that Nepal will export 40 to 50 MW power to Bangladesh. New Delhi had already agreed to provide the supply corridor to the landlocked nation Nepal.

Doesn’t it seem strange that a country that does not have enough electricity to meet its domestic needs is entering into a contract to export electricity to a third country? Prachanda’s critics may taunt him by quoting the saying ‘Ghar mein nahi hai daane, Amma chali bhunane’, but Prime Minister Modi seems to have found a way out. It has been envisaged that with the cooperation of Indian companies like GMR, Tata Power, Ippan, SJVN Ltd., the number of hydro power generation projects completed in Nepal will not only become self-sufficient in the energy sector in the next ten years, Nepal will become the exporting country of South Asia. Will be done.

At Hyderabad House in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi has launched a series of projects like energy, infrastructure, airways, petroleum pipeline from Amlekhganj to Chitwan, fertilizer factory in Nepal. It is a big deal if staunch communist leaders agree to Ramayana circuit along with intense energy diplomacy. This indicates that everything has been decided keeping in mind the 2024 elections, which will have an impact on the five Indian territories that share a border with Nepal.

Both the leaders have tried to silence the opponents creating atmosphere in Nepal by saying that they will review the border related issues and resolve them in the coming days. The debate on the border dispute had also started before Prachanda came to New Delhi. The Nepalese side has been claiming for years that 372 square kilometers in Kalapani, Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura, 145 square kilometers in Susta located in Gandak area and about 89 square kilometers in the remaining 69 places have been encroached. When Modi went to Nepal for the first time after becoming the Prime Minister in 2014, it was promised that we will settle the border dispute permanently. Nine years have passed since this ‘Bhishma Pratigya’.

The two leaders did not discuss the report of the ‘EPG’ (Eminent Persons Group) at Hyderabad House. In 2016, KP Sharma Oli and Narendra Modi agreed to form an eight-member group of eminent people of India-Nepal, named ‘EPG’ (Eminent Persons Group), to resolve bilateral disputes. Ambassador Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, who was Nepal’s ambassador in Delhi, is the convenor of this group from the Nepal side, and Bhagat Singh Koshyari was leading it in India.

The ‘EPG’ was to suggest the way forward to amend the disputed clauses of the 1950 treaty on the movement of citizens between the two countries. The report of ‘EPG’ has not been made public yet. Was the report submitted to the Prime Ministers or not? This too is in the dark. However, some members of the group, speaking ‘off the record’, believe that there is agreement on three main points. Firstly, there should be a change in the Indo-Nepal Treaty-1950. Secondly, it should be made mandatory to show the identity cards of the people in the movement of both the countries. Thirdly, work permit system should be implemented to work in Nepal.
40 years ago, Dr. Hark Bahadur Gurung, a geographer and deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of Nepal, concluded that clauses of the 1950 treaty should be changed. Passport and work permit apply. On the same line, Nepali communists also wanted that Article 2 of the 1950 treaty (which deals with territorial integrity), Article 5 should be changed and Nepal should import weapons. He also wanted that the economic compulsions from Article 6 should be removed. Amend Article 7 to oblige people of Indian origin to work in Nepal on the basis of a work permit. The report of the Gurung Commission was almost exactly what the staunch nationalists and communists of Nepal wanted. If the ‘EPG’ of both the countries has given a report on the same lines, then implementing it would mean creating uproar on both sides of the valley. A year before the 2024 elections, Prime Minister Modi would not want to take such a risk.

In the joint statement of Hyderabad House, both the leaders have tried to keep away the controversial topic like Agneepath scheme in Nepal. At present, 34 thousand Nepali youths are posted in the Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army. Nine months ago, 1300 youths were to be recruited under the Agneepath scheme. But, the question arose in Nepal that what will happen to them after 4 years? The rally had to be postponed due to non-receipt of any response from the Government of Nepal which had announced the date of recruitment rally at Gorkha Recruitment Depot Gorakhpur, Butwal and Dharan in Nepal. All eyes were on the Hyderabad House to see what decision the two heads of state would take on the subject of recruitment under the Agneepath scheme. Prachanda himself did not want anything to happen.

The writer is New Delhi editor, EU-Asia News.
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