Report on the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project in Nepal and India
Nepal and India have agreed to complete the detailed project report (DPR) for the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project within three months. The project, a key component of the Mahakali Treaty signed in 1996, aims to generate 6,400 megawatts of energy. However, differences between the two sides prevented the joint panel of experts from reaching an agreement on completing the DPR.
During a meeting of the Pancheshwar Development Authority’s governing council held in Pokhara and Kathmandu, it was decided to activate the expert group and extend the deadline to resolve the dispute. This move follows the commitment made by the prime ministers of both countries to conclude the report within three months.
The expert group, whose term was initially set to end in March 2023, will now hold its fourth meeting. The meeting also agreed to appoint officials from both sides and emphasized that both countries would invest in the project based on water sharing. However, there is a disagreement on how to distribute the water benefits and the issue of investment responsibility.
Nepal argues that India should contribute more due to the larger irrigation benefits it would receive, while India is willing to invest regardless of profit considerations. The Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project will not only generate electricity but also provide irrigation to a significant amount of land in both Nepal and India, as well as other incidental benefits like flood protection.