India says ready to supply more electricity to Nepal
- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, NEW DELHI Jun 28, 2016- Expressing its readiness to provide additional 120MW of electricity to Nepal through the Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar trans-border transmission line, India has called on Nepal to complete the construction of a sub-station at Dhalkebar at the earliest. During a meeting of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) in New Delhi, which began on Monday, the Indian side accepted the request from the Nepali side to export more electricity to Nepal. According to Nepali officials, India said it is ready to export additional electricity to Nepal but stressed on the need to construct a sub-station at Dhalkebar at the earliest, without which additional power cannot be supplied to Nepal. Nepal is currently importing 80MW of electricity through the Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line. Nepal plans to import 600MW of power from India through the transmission line that was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on February 21 during PM Oli’s visit to India. The Nepal Electricity Authority has already awarded a contract for the construction of a sub-station at Dhalkebar, but it is yet to be completed. “We are aiming to complete the construction of the sub-station by December,” said NEA Managing Director Mukesh Kafle, one of the members of the Nepali delegation. During the meeting, the Indian side also enquired about preparations on the part of the Nepali side to import electricity from Nepal after 2019, according to another member of the Nepali delegation. Similarly, during a meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWC) in the Indian capital, the two sides held discussions on mechanisms needed to implement the Power Trade Agreement (PTA) and construction of more trans-border transmission lines. The meeting was co-chaired by joint secretaries of energy ministries of both the countries. “Both sides also held discussions on Butwal-Gorakhpur transmission line, the second cross-border transmission line between two countries,” an official said. The meeting also held discussions on open access to both the countries regarding import and export of electricity. “There should be provisions for importing power from India from any company we select,” said officials. The issues discussed at Monday’s meeting will be presented on Tuesday at the JSC, which is a secretary level mechanism. This is the third JSC meeting since the two countries signed PTA two years ago.