Answer to Nepal’s power woes lies in Koshi basin

American tourists Shana K and her husband Zulhk K were in for a shock when they found there was no electricity at the Janakpur airport for over an hour. But that’s a constant reality for most Nepalese who face a severe power crisis every day. However, experts say the grim situation can change if Nepal utilises its water resources fully, notably that of the Koshi basin which can generate 37 times more energy than what Nepal annually imports from India.

“Nepal has a huge hydropower potential, thanks to plenty of available water in the Koshi basin. But till date the water resources have not been utilised,” said Shahriar Wahid, programme coordinator, Koshi basin programme of Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

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Water can help boost regional co-operation

Kathmandu: Water not only connects India, Nepal and China but can also be used to promote regional collaboration among them to better manage their resources and reduce hazardous risks specifically in Bihar’s Kosi basin for sustainable development, says an expert at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) that is based here.

All three countries, India, Nepal and China,  have something to gain. Nepal can produce more hydro power, India can reduce its risk of flood damage and have fewer scheduled power cuts and China can improve its relationship with its neighbours – which opens up profitable trade opportunities.  Cooperation and proper supervision of water systems in China could mean improved lives and livelihoods downstream in Nepal and India. Latest research findings have shown that the glaciers in the region are retreating and glacial lakes are increasing

“Managing water resources for the livelihood of millions of people can play an important role to promote regional collaboration between India, Nepal and China in the Kosi basin,” Shahariar M. Wahid, ICIMOD’s Kosi Basin Programme coordinator, said here. Noting that the livelihoods of people are affected by increasing water politics, he said that technology transfer and exchange of scientific research among the three countries will help people living in the basin.

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Well Done, Modi, For Driving Nepal Into China’s Arms

Between them, Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj, who love to call others “anti-national”, have succeeded in demolishing the bulwark of India’s security on its northern borders.

That bulwark was militarily strategic, but essentially predicated upon such a warm relationship with Nepal as to make them want to prioritize their relationship with India rather than play us off against the Chinese. While the post-Independence period has witnessed many ups and downs in this endeavor, we have largely succeeded maintaining an even keel with our northern neighbour. That equilibrium has been permanently deranged as a result of the vulgar muscularity the Modi-Swaraj duo deployed against Nepal’s sovereignty and the basic economic needs of her people when Nepal’s Constituent Assembly was moving virtually unanimously towards adopting a constitution after seven long years of persistent effort.

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”Hydropower key to Nepal”s growth, trade with India”

Hydropower is Nepal’s key to development and the country has an economically-viable potential of 40,000 MW of generation capacity of which it can export the surplus to neighbouring South Asian countries including India, an US government funding agency has said.

Developing sustainable hydropower generation will enable Nepal to balance its supply deficit in the dry season with the revenues made through exports during the season when river flows are high, US Agency for International Development said.

USAID said Nepal heavily depends on water resources to meet its energy demands as more than 90 per cent of its total electricity generation capacity is hydropower based.

“Hydropower plays a particularly important role in Nepal’s economic future because of the scale of its potential,” the agency said, estimating that Nepal has an economically-viable potential for more than 40,000 megawatts (MW) of hydropower generation capacity.

“If such potential is realised, it could easily meet Nepal’s suppressed demand and create a surplus that could be exported to neighbouring countries in South Asia,” it said.

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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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India assures Nepal of support for peace, stability

New Delhi, March 17:  India has assured Nepal of all its support for ensuring peace and stability in the Himalayan nation, a statement by the external affairs ministry issued here on Thursday said.  “India will continue to extend all support and assistance to Nepal, for peace, stability and socio-economic development of the country,” India said in its statement on the adoption of the Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Nepal at the 31st session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva on Wednesday.

“A climate of political stability, consensus and predictability is a pre-requisite for Nepal’s socio-economic development, particularly in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in April 2015,” it said.   “As the principal donor in global support for Nepal’s post-earthquake reconstruction, India urges a strong national consensus in Nepal on its political and developmental agenda.”  The UPR is a unique mechanism of the UNHRC aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 193 UN member states.

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Misunderstandings in Indo-Nepal ties will be cleared soon, says India’s ambassador to Nepal

Misunderstandings in Indo-Nepal relations due to the border blockade resulting from protests by Madhesis will be cleared soon, the Indian envoy here has said while underlining that a peaceful and prosperous Nepal is in India’s interest.

India’s Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae, while speaking at a function organised here to observe Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary, said all the misunderstandings created in bilateral relations will be cleared soon. He said that with the arrival of new year, the “problems” in Indo-Nepal relations due to the border blockade resulting from protests by Madheisis will end and the “friendship between the two countries will be further strengthened”.

“India always wants to see welfare of Nepalese people, and we want a peaceful and prosperous Nepal which will also be in the interest of India,” he said.

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Indo-Nepal joint panel meet on Kosi, Gandak in February

Patna: A two-day high-level meet of the Indo-Nepal Joint Committee of Kosi Gandak Project (JCKGP) is slated to be held in Patna on February 8 and 9 as part of bilateral cooperation between the two counties to sort out the issues regarding implementation of the Kosi and Gandak irrigation projects.

Since the Kosi and Gandak irrigation projects are under execution in Nepalese and Indian territories, the Nepalese high-level delegation would have discussions with the Indian counterpart, said Bihar water resources department (WRD) principal secretary Arun Kumar Singh on Wednesday.

This would be the eighth meet of JCKGP, earlier set up by the Joint Committee of Water Resources (JCWR) of the two countries to resolve the issues.

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Eko launches Indo-Nepal remittance service with Prabhu Money Group

BENGALURU: Eko, a mobile-based Financial technology company, today announced the launch of Indo-Nepal remittance services in partnership with Nepal’s Prabhu Money Group.

“This is Eko’s first international tie-up for remittance services. Through this product launch, Eko agents are able to initiate remittances to Nepal. The service will benefit 50 Lakh Nepali migrants living across India,” the company said.

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