9th meeting of the Joint Committee on Water Resources, co-chaired by Shri Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India and Mr. Sagar Rai, Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, was held in Kathmandu on 23 September 2022. This was preceded by the 7th meeting of the Joint Standing Technical Committee on Water Resources (21-22 September 2022) that was co-chaired by Shri M. K. Srinivas, Chairman, Ganga Flood Control Commission, Patna and Mr. Shishir Koirala, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Government of Nepal in Kathmandu.
These meetings comprehensively reviewed the bilateral water-sector cooperation between India and Nepal, including the implementation of Mahakali Treaty, Sapta Kosi- Sun Kosi Project and cooperation in areas of flooding and inundation. The progress of various bilateral committees, including Joint Committee on Inundation and Flood Management (JCIFM) and Joint Committee on Kosi and Gandak Project (JCKGP), was also discussed.
It was agreed to take forward the Sapta Kosi high dam project through further studies which take into consideration the planned upstream projects, submergence area of the Project as well as other social, environmental and technical aspects. The Joint Team of Experts is expected to meet soon.
Recalling the India-Nepal Joint Vision Statement on Power Sector Cooperation issued during the visit of Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Nepal to India in April 2022, where the two Prime Ministers directed their concerned officials to expedite the bilateral discussions towards early finalization of the project’s DPR, the JCWR extended the tenure of the Team of Experts (ToE) unto March 2023 for the finalization of the DPR of Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project and agreed to hold the 4th ToE meeting at the earliest.
The Nepali side thanked India for the assistance extended to Nepal regarding irrigation, flood management, inundation control, river embankment works, etc. The Indian side highlighted the unique relationship between the two countries and the importance of proper management and utilization of water resources for mutual benefit.
Water Resources Secretary Shri Pankaj Kumar called on Hon’ble Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Ms. Pampha Bhusal after the meeting. Shri Kumar is expected to call on the Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba on Friday.