Govt moves to expedite petro pipeline project
- Rajesh Khanal, Kathmandu
Ministry of Supplies is holding a multi-stakeholder meeting in Amlekhgunj, Bara, on Friday, which will discuss issues related to environment and local land use
Dec 2, 2016- In its bid to expedite construction of much-delayed 41km Raxaul-Amlekhgunj petroleum pipeline, the Ministry of Supplies is holding a multi-stakeholder meeting in Amlekhgunj, Bara, on Friday, which will discuss issues related to environment and local land use. The ministry has also formed two high-level committees in Bara and Parsa districts led by respective Chief District Officers. The committees will hold consultations with all stakeholders concerned to facilitate the pipeline construction process and avoid any possible complications in the future. The committees, each having 18 members, include representatives from Land Revenue Office, Nepal Police, Nepal Electricity Authority, Municipalities, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and Bara-Parsa National Park. Supplies Ministry Spokesperson Surya Prasad Shrestha said Friday’s meeting would resolve issues related to private and government-owned land, forests, rivers and the national park. An estimated 33.6 acres of land will be required for the project. The government needs to cut down 25,000 trees and shift 2,100 electricity poles.
Nearly, 4,000 settlements, set up encroaching government land, also need to be cleared off, government officials have said.
NOC has even asked the government to accord the project “national pride” status in order to simplify the construction process. NOC Spokesperson Bhanubhakta Khanal said Friday’s meeting would focus on preparing a report on procedures for felling trees along the proposed pipeline route. “In addition, government agencies concerned are expected to find out ways to remove houses and shift electricity transmission lines along the route,” he said. Two months ago, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), in coordination with NOC, had carried out detail engineering survey of the project. Once the final survey report is received, NOC will invite bids for the project’s construction, Khanal said.
NOC has also sent the “world geographic system 1984 report”—a global reference system for geospatial information—to the Indian oil company. According to Khanal, the advanced mapping system involves details about seismic fault, soil structure and erosion rate, and flow rate of rivers along the proposed pipeline route. “The mapping system helps identify factors that could affect the pipeline in future,” said Khanal. The project is expected to ensure regular fuel supplies as it will eliminate the vagaries of transportation by tanker. The project was first proposed in 1995. An agreement signed between Nepal and India has estimated that the project will cost Rs2.75 billion. India will spend Rs2 billion, while Rs750 million will be injected by Nepal, according to the agreement.