Watered down

Mar 18, 2016- For many Nepalis, the water resource issue instantly comes to the forefront as far as Nepal-India relations are concerned. They say the white gold that gushes down Nepal’s mountains and gorges—making up to 70 percent of the Ganga’s lean season flow—is what interests India the most in their country. Feeding this deep-seated belief is the worsening scarcity of water in many Indian states. And yet, water is one issue the two countries have not talked about in recent decades. Or, at least, it is not public knowledge.

“There wasn’t any talk on water separately,” Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said at a press briefing during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s Delhi visit last month. “There were talks on why there was no progress on Upper Karnali and Arun hydropower projects and they (the two prime ministers) discussed about Pancheswor as well,” he said when one journalist asked if anything was discussed on the sharing of water resources between the two countries.

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