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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Narendra Modi calls for urgency on Nepal constitution
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Narendra Modi calls for urgency on Nepal constitution

The prime minister is in Kathmandu to attend the 18th Saarc summit on 26-27 November

Nitin Gadkari flags off the Delhi-Kathmandu bus service from the national capital. The journey is expected to take about 30 hours. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/MintPremium
Nitin Gadkari flags off the Delhi-Kathmandu bus service from the national capital. The journey is expected to take about 30 hours. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Kathmandu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged Nepal’s political parties to speed up the process of writing the nation’s constitution, based on the principle of consensus rather than by majority.

Modi is in Kathmandu to attend the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit on 26-27 November. After arriving in Kathmandu, Modi began the bilateral segment of his visit by inaugurating a trauma centre in the capital. He also handed over an advanced light helicopter made by India to the Nepalese army.

This is Modi’s second visit to Nepal in four months.

Nepal became a republic in 2008 after abolishing a 240-year-old monarchy but still has to formulate a constitution.

Modi’s stress on consensus follows some efforts to push through a charter backed by a majority in the constituent assembly.

The two sides signed 10 pacts including the project development agreement on the 900MW Arun-III hydroelectric project, paving the way for the Investment Board Nepal and India’s Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd, the project developer, to start mobilizing funds to build the dam. The construction is planned to be completed within five years.

Nepal on 19 September had signed a pact on the 900MW Upper Karnali project with GMR Energy of India. A report in Nepal’s Himalayan Times on Tuesday said that the Arun-III, like Upper Karnali project, was an export-oriented project being built under a 25-year build, own, operate and transfer model.

This means the project, estimated to cost over 100 billion, will have to be handed over to the Nepal government in good condition after 25 years of commencing commercial operation, the Nepalese newspaper said.

India will also give an additional 70MW of power to Nepal, taking the total amount to 250 MW. Idnia had agreed to supply 180 MW when modi came in August. India is also to help Nepal set up a police acedemy and has given an assistance of 550 crores for this.

Earlier, as he dedicated the 200-bed trauma centre built by India for Nepal, Modi “complimented the Prime Minister of Nepal (Sushil Koirala), the political parties and officers of Nepal for removing obstacles and speeding up work which had been held up for the last 25-30 years," an official statement from the Indian Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.

Modi also flagged off the Delhi-Kathmandu bus service from the Nepalese capital. The journey is expected to take about 30 hours.

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Published: 26 Nov 2014, 01:16 AM IST
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