Your Excellency Prime Minister ‘Prachanda’ ji, Members of both delegations, Our friends from the media,
First of all, I heartily welcome Prime Minister Prachanda ji and his delegation to India. I remember, that 9 years ago, in 2014, within three months of taking charge in office, I made my first visit to Nepal. At that time, I had given a “HIT” formula for India-Nepal relations, HIT- Highways, I-ways, and Trans-ways. I had said that we will establish such links between India and Nepal that our borders do not become barriers between us.
Oil should be exported through pipeline instead of trucks.
Bridges should be built over the shared rivers.
Facilities should be created for exporting electricity from Nepal to India.
Today, after 9 years, I am happy to say that our partnership has truly been a “hit”. In the last 9 years, we have accomplished many achievements in various fields. Nepal’s first ICP was made in Birganj. The first Cross-Border Petroleum Pipeline of our region was built between India and Nepal. The first Broad-Gauge rail line has been established between us. New transmission lines have been constructed across the border. We are now importing more than 450 MW of power from Nepal. It will take us a whole day, if we start describing the achievements of 9 years.
Today Prime Minister Prachanda ji and I have taken many important decisions to make our partnership a super hit in the future. Today the Transit Agreement has been concluded.
In this, along with new rail routes for the people of Nepal, provision has also been made for the facility of India’s inland waterways.
We decided to increase physical connectivity by setting up new rail links.
Along with this, it has also been decided to provide training to railway personnel of Nepal in Indian Railway Institutes.
To boost connectivity to the far western region of Nepal, two more bridges will be built at Shirsha and Jhulaghat.
We welcome the steps taken in financial connectivity through cross border digital payments. Thousands of students, lakhs of tourists and pilgrims as well as patients who have come to India for medical treatment will also be benefitted by this. Economic connectivity will be strengthened by the construction of three “ICPs”.
Last year, we had adopted a landmark vision document for cooperation in the power sector. Taking this forward, a long term Power Trade Agreement has been signed between India and Nepal today. Under this Agreement, we have set a target of importing 10,000 MW of electricity from Nepal in the coming ten years.
Cooperation in the power sector has been further strengthened by agreements on the Phukot-Karnali and Lower Arun Hydro-Electric Projects. In view of the positive impact of Motihari-Amlekhganj petroleum pipeline, it has been decided to take this pipeline up to Chitwan. Besides this, another new pipeline will also be constructed from Siliguri to Jhapa in eastern Nepal.
Simultaneously, new storage terminals will also be set up at Chitwan and Jhapa. We have also agreed on mutual cooperation to set up a fertilizer plant in Nepal.
The religious and cultural ties between India and Nepal are very old and very strong. In order to further strengthen this beautiful link, Prime Minister Prachanda ji and I have decided that the projects related to Ramayana circuit should be expedited.
We will continue to work to give our relationship the height of the Himalayas.
And in this spirit, we will solve all the issues, whether it is of boundary or any other issue.
Prime Minister Prachanda ji, you will visit Indore and the religious city of Ujjain tomorrow. I am sure your visit to Ujjain will be full of energy, and you will also have a spiritual experience in this journey from Pashupatinath to Mahakaleshwar.
Thank you very much.