On Monday, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan signed an MoU with minister of commerce and supplies of Nepal Sunil Bahadur Thapa for implementing the pipeline, which would be built from Raxaul in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal.
The development is seen in the light of an announcement made by PM Narendra Modi during his first official visit to the Himalayan nation, for building the petroleum pipeline. The MoU was inked after the Union Cabinet gave its nod for the project.
The pipeline (2 km in India and 39 km in Nepal), which will initially supply petrol, diesel and kerosene, will be constructed by the IOC from its own budget. It will take IOC about 30 months to complete the project after receipt of necessary statutory clearances from Nepal. Nepal Oil Corporation will invest Rs 75 crore to develop additional facilities at the Amlekhgunj depot, the petroleum ministry statement said. India exports $1.1 billion petroleum products every year to Nepal. The bulk of this volume will be transported through the pipeline. It will also ensure smooth, cost-effective and environment friendly supply of petroleum products to Nepal.
The petroleum ministry said this would be the first transnational petroleum pipeline in South Asia and will be a significant step towards the PM’s vision of improved regional connectivity among Saarc countries.