Nepal, India ink six MoUs during Modi's Lumbini visit

KATHMANDU: During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's day-long visit to Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, Nepal and India signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoU). The agreement was signed by Kulman Ghising, managing director of the NEA, and Nandalal Sharma, chairman of SJVN.

The cooperative building of the Arun-4 hydroelectricity project between the two neighbouring nations was one of the primary takeaways from the visit. 

The project, which has a total installed capacity of 695 megawatts, will be developed jointly by India's Sutlej Jala Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).  In the same river, the SJVN is currently developing the Arun-III hydroelectricity project, which has an 800 megawatt generation capacity. 

According to the agreements, both parties will now form a joint venture business in which SJV will hold a 51 percent stake and NEA would hold a 49 percent stake. After the project is completed, Nepal would receive 21.9 percent free electricity.The project will cost about USD750 million to develop.

The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Lumbini Buddhist University also signed an agreement to create the Dr. Ambedkar Chair for Buddhist Studies. Similarly, the ICCR and Tribhuvan University's Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies struck an agreement to create the ICCR Chair of Indian Studies at CNAS.

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