India is willing to bear nearly 65 per cent cost of the 5,000-mw Pancheshwar multi-purpose project in Nepal that will make the latter power surplus and control floods, an official said. The assurance came after Nepalese Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay called on Union Minister for Water Resources and River Development Nitin Gadkari today. Gadkari also holds road transport and highways portfolio. “During the course of the meeting on infrastructure related projects, 5,000 mw bi-national Pancheshwar multi- purpose project dominated the discussion. Keen on its implementation, the minister (Gadkari) on behalf of the government expressed willingness to bear about 65 per cent of the project cost,” a ministry official told PTI. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba have shown interest in reviving the two- decade old Rs 30,000-crore project and officials have been asked to prepare a detailed project report.
“Gadkari told Upadhyay that the project will make Nepal a power surplus nation and it can sell the excess electricity to India. Besides, the project will tremendously benefit both the nations by controlling floods in the areas,” the official added.
The project is also seen to irrigate vast tracts of land. According to the official, while India is willing to bear about 65 per cent of the project cost, it is expecting electricity sharing on a 50:50 basis. The reachout to Nepal in on the lines of similar support for Bhutan for its hydro power projects.