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Nepal, India agree on proper utilisation of water resources

Press Trust of India  |  Kathmandu 

Nepal and India have agreed to properly utilise the abundant water resources of the Himalayan nation so that both the countries' growing needs are met.

Former power minister Suresh Prabhu, who is also the chairperson of Council on Energy, Environment and Water Resources, said that India's relationship with Nepal is very special and unique, and India is ready to help Nepal which could make the country prosperous and also benefit its people.

"Nepal is gifted with abundant water resources, but the country lacks proper and systematic management of its resources, which is causing huge damage in the forms of floods, to both the countries," he pointed out.

If properly managed the water resources of Nepal can meet the growing energy requirements of India as well as provide huge economic benefits to the people of Nepal, Prabhu said.

With the development of hydropower Nepal's per capita income could go up remarkably and it could be the highest not only in South Asia but can be compared with other parts of the world as well by selling electricity to India, he pointed out.

The Himalayas in South Asia support 40 per cent of the global human population and climate change is posing a threat to the water source, Prabhu said adding the global community should provide compensation to repair the damage caused by climate change as the South Asian region is not responsible for the damage.

The damage is caused by activities in the industrialised countries, he added.

The power projects being developed in Nepal should first benefit Nepal and its people and India is ready to provide any help in this regard, he pointed out.

Water used for generating hydropower, is non-consumptive use of water and after generating electricity the water can be used for other purposes including for irrigation purposes, he pointed out.

Prabhu was speaking at a seminar on the theme "Water and Energy Resources Development, New Policy Frameworks for Bilateral Cooperation" organised by Nepal-India Friendship Society.

"The 900 MW Arun Third Project had to be aborted one and a half decade ago due to the reservation shown by the World Bank at the last minute which dragged the country to hours of power outage," recalled Nepal's Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat.

First Published: Fri, October 17 2014. 15:34 IST