PM Modi, KP Sharma Oli jointly inaugurate South Asia's first cross-border pipeline
New Delhi, Sep 10: Prime Minister Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the first-ever cross-border petroleum products pipeline in South Asia, the Motihari-Amlekhganj (Nepal) petroleum product pipeline, with Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli via video conferencing.
"It is a matter of great satisfaction that the first cross-border petroleum pipeline of South Asia has been completed in record time. It was ready in half the time than expected," Modi said in an address.
"After the devastating earthquake in 2015 when Nepal took up the reconstruction, India extended its hand for cooperation as a neighbour and a close friend. I am happy that due to our joint cooperation houses have been built again in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts of Nepal," he said.
The 70-km Motihari-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline project was first proposed in 1996. However, the project finally edged closer to reality during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Kathmandu in 2014.
The two governments had inked an agreement to execute the project in August 2015. However, project construction was delayed following the 2015 earthquake and supply obstruction along the southern border. The project construction works finally began in April last year with the mandate to complete it within 30 months.
The pipeline will help in tackling the oil storage problem in Nepal and doing away with the transportation of petroleum products through tankers.
Though the initial cost of the project was estimated to be Rs 275 crore, where the Indian government would inject Rs 200 crore, the Nepal Oil Corporation said that total project cost escalated to almost Rs 325 crore due to the delay.
The project will start commercial operation by August following the virtual inauguration of the Nepal-India bilateral project by executive heads of the two countries, The Himalayan Times reported.