KATHMANDU, Sept 10: Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and his counterpart Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the Motihari-Amlekhjung petroleum pipeline through a live video conference on Tuesday.
PM Oli from Singha Durbar and Indian PM Modi from Hyderabad House jointly inaugurated the project through a remote control system. The Indian Oil authorities, then, handed over a bottle of diesel poured from the new pipeline to the Nepali authorities at the Amlekhgunj-based Nepal Oil Corporation depot.
Initially proposed in 1996, Nepal and India agreed to execute the petroleum pipeline project in 2015 but was delayed due to devastating earthquake until Oli and Modi jointly laid a foundation stone during Oli’s visit to India in April last year with a mandate to complete it in 30 months. The project was completed at the cost of Rs 5.18 billion.
Both PMs were satisfied that the project completed way ahead of time.
“It is heartening to note that the project has been completed so early within half of its scheduled timeframe enabling both of us to inaugurate for its operationalization today,” said PM.
“I believe it will not only save time, transit cost, lessen route traffic and pollution while transporting the petroleum products from India to Nepal but also open the way in Nepal for expanding similar pipelines across the country,” he added.
“As I talk here about the positive impact of the pipeline on consumer price, I am happy to share with you (Indian PM Modi) that Nepal Oil Corporation has already reduced both diesel and petrol price by 2 rupees effective from today.”
“Moreover, this project will without any doubt enhance interconnectedness and interdependence between the two countries. It is one of the best examples of connectivity in terms of trade and transit infrastructure of Nepal and India.”
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to Modi and the Government of India for the support and cooperation to bring into operation such an important project.”
“With similar press and efforts I believe will benefit both of our countries. I am happy to note that the implementation of various India-aided projects have gathered momentum in recent years following the understanding between Modi and myself in our previous meetings.”
“At this moment I would also like to appreciate the work related to the post-earthquake reconstruction of about 50000 houses in Gokhar and Nuwakot districts under India’s financial assistance. These houses stand as a symbol of India’s support to the people of Nepal.”
“Such development works, many of which directly benefit the people, contribute to making our relationship stronger and fruitful.”
“We are now at an important junction of history today that Nepal and India are in a better situation of political stability with strong majority governments, rising economic growth rates, availability of dynamic and capital human resources and rich natural resources which offer a promising environment for development and prosperity.”
“This has also created an enabling involvement for further strengthening partnership and cooperation between two countries for mutual benefit.”
“Besides, we have similar visions of development, prosperity and happiness of our people, backed up by solid political commitment and strong determination to realize them,” he added.
PM Oli also took the opportunity to invite Modi to pay a visit to Nepal.
Boosting ties with Nepal! Inaugurating first ever cross-border petroleum products pipeline in South Asia https://t.co/9CGe36g3m1
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 10, 2019
“It is a matter of great satisfaction that South Asia’s first cross border petroleum pipeline has been completed in record time. The project has been completed half the time ahead than expected,” said Modi.
“The project will supply and will supply over 2 million metric ton petroleum products to Nepal annually,” he added.
Pointing out that the Oli has already announced the money saved from the gesture will be passed to consumers, he said, “I am happy to hear that the Government of Nepal has dedicated the money saved from reduced transit cost to its people. I am very satisfied to have the opportunity to participate in the welfare of Nepali people.”
Modi also accepted Oli’s invitation to visit Nepal.
The 69.2-km long pipeline is South Asia’s first cross-border pipeline completed under Nepal-India corporation and will supply 4,000 kiloliter petroleum product to Nepal every day. In the first phase, only diesel will be brought to Nepal from Bihar’s Motihari.
With the cross border project in place, Nepal Oil Corporation expects to save more than Rs 2 billion annually spent on its transportation.
Till now, Oil tankers have been carrying the petroleum products from India to Nepal as part of the arrangement of 1973.