India allays Nepal’s fears over hydel proposal

Published - July 20, 2014 11:34 pm IST - KATHMANDU:

With a draft proposal by India on hydropower development in Nepal causing concern that the neighbouring country is trying to establish a monopoly, the Indian Embassy here stepped in on Sunday to deny any such move.

Issuing a five-point statement, the embassy said the proposal was a draft for discussion “and would require bilateral negotiations prior to finalisation.” Both sides are free to propose amendments or modifications to the draft, it added.

With concerns mounting in Nepal over India’s intentions, four years after Nepal sent it a draft agreement on the power sector, the embassy said, “In no way does the draft constrain Nepal’s sovereign right to develop its hydropower potential.”

The hardline Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) joined issue on Sunday, demanding that the government make public its official position on the Indian proposal.

Issuing a statement, party chairman Mohan Baidya said that news reports about an export-oriented PDA (power development agreement) with India, “instead of scrapping the already existing unequal treaties on Koshi, Gandak, Mahakali, Upper Karnali, Arun III, High Koshi Dam and Upper Marsyangdi, has come as a shock to all patriotic Nepalese people.”

The controversy over the draft has been brewing for several days now. Both the ruling and the opposition parties have come together to oppose it.

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