New Delhi, September 10: Asserted as a game changer by enhancing relation between two neighbouring countries, India and Nepal, the Motihari-Amlekhganj petroleum product pipeline was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal PM K P Sharma Oli on Tuesday via video conferencing.
The over 60 km-long pipeline is the first-ever cross-border petroleum product pipeline in the South Asia region, according to a video presentation made before the inauguration. As of now, tankers carry petroleum products from India to Nepal as part of an arrangement which is in place since 1973.
Fortifying relations, a statement released by PM Modi’s office stated, “This India-Nepal energy cooperation project is a symbol of our close bilateral relations. It will help to enhance the energy security of the region and substantially cut down on transit costs.”
The Motihari-Amlekhganj was first proposed in 1996. However, the project finally edged closer to reality during Modi's visit to Kathmandu in 2014. India has invested Rs. 3.5 billion to install the pipeline. PM Modi and Nepal PM Oli had jointly laid the foundation stone for the project at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi during Oli's visit to Indian last year.
Covering a distance of 70.2 kilometres, the pipeline’s technical examination is underway. The pipeline project is estimated to be around Rs 2.75 billion. The work of laying the petroleum pipeline that covers a distance of 32.65 kilometres from Motahari to Raxaul on the Indian side was completed a month ago. The task of laying pipes for a distance of 37.25 kilometres from Raxaul to Amlekhgunj of Bara on the Nepal side is also over.
A technical team of 25-members including engineers from the Nepal Oil Corporation, have headed to Lucknow for training on hydro-test and other technical works. The Indian Oil Corporation is set to provide training to the technicians to make them capable to take care of the first cross-border petroleum pipeline of south Asia.
The agreement to lay the pipeline inked between Nepal and India on August 24, 2015. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during Oli's India visit jointly laid the foundation stone for Motihari-Amlekhgunj petroleum pipeline project at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi.