Nepal eager to develop water connectivity with India
The Dollar Business Bureau
Nepal on Wednesday expressed its eagerness to develop water connectivity with India through the rivers Ganga and Kosi that will link the Himalayan nation with the ports in West Bengal.
The matter was raised by Vice President of Nepal, Nanda Bahadur Pun, during his meet with President of India, Pranab Mukherjee.
Earlier, Mukherjee also held a meeting with the President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari.
Mukherjee is on a three-day visit to Nepal, the first visit in 18 years by an Indian President.
“All aspects of connectivity were discussed but one interesting thing that came up during this time and this was raised by the Vice President and that was connectivity by water. He was talking about connectivity from Kolkata through Hubli, the Ganga and the Kosi and this can come about if Kosi project develops,” Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae told journalists after the meeting.
For over 60 years, the project for Kosi development has been pending due to the issues of land and displacement of people from constructing dams on the river.
Now, Nepalese Vice President brought up the connectivity issue, the project can only see the light of the day when dams are constructed on the river and the work on Kosi Development Project is commenced, according to the sources.
India has 1,850 kilometers open border with Nepal, which spread across five states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Sikkim and West Bengal.
After the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, India was the first and biggest responder, with a pledged of $1 billion worth of assistance to the Himalayan, which included a grant of $250 million and $750 million of Line of Credit.
India has also committed to reconstruct 50,000 homes, the process for which has been already been started from the Nepalese side.