Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli jointly inaugurated South Asia's first cross-border petroleum products pipeline on Tuesday. The pipeline that would run from Motihari in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal was inaugurated through video conference. It will be used to supply diesel from Motihari in the first phase. The pipeline was constructed with Indian assistance of Rs 324 crore.
PM Oli spoke during the occasion and hailed the early implementation of the connectivity project that has been completed much ahead of schedule. He also said that the pipeline was a big achievement for Nepal. "We (India and Nepal) have similar visions of development, prosperity, and happiness of our peoples, backed up by solid political commitment and strong determination to realise them," he said.
PM Modi added that the 69-km pipeline that has a capacity of 2 million metric tonne per annum will provide cleaner petroleum products at affordable cost to the people of Nepal. He also welcomed the reduction in prices of petroleum products by Rs 2 per litre in Nepal.
PM Modi said that he was confident that the bilateral relations between India and Nepal would continue to further deepen and expand across diverse sectors. He also mentioned that regular exchanges at highest political levels have laid down a forward-looking agenda for expanding India-Nepal partnership.
The Nepal Prime Minister also extended an invitation to PM Modi to visit Nepal. He also said that the 'Sabka Saath, Saabka Vikas' and his vision for 'Happy Nepal, Prosperous Nepali' capture the essence of the countries' commitment, determination and efforts to transform the development landscape of India and Nepal.
Currently, tankers carry petroleum products from India to Nepal as part of an arrangement which has been in place since 1973.
The Motihari-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline project was first proposed in 1996. However, the two governments had inked an agreement to execute the project in August 2015. The project construction was delayed following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal and supply obstruction along the southern border. Construction works finally began in April last year.