By Our Reporter
Indian intention to capture and monopolise Nepal’s water resources was revealed last week.
The new directives issued by India on cross-border trade of electricity have discouraged other countries and non-Indian companies from investing in export-oriented hydropower projects in Nepal.
The conditions mentioned in the new directives will discourage Nepali and other foreign companies from producing export-oriented electricity from the vast water resources available in Nepal.
The guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Power last week have virtually ended the possibility of more investment from China and other countries.
This paves the way for India to import electricity from neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, but restricts the trade in hydroelectricity generated by other countries and non-Indian companies.
“These guidelines are restrictive,” says Prabal Adhikari, spokesperson for the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). “They favour only Indian companies.”
As per these guidelines, India will now buy electricity from the proposed 900 MW Upper Karnali (the Indian private company GMR) and the 900 MW Arun III project (the Indian public sector company Sutlej).
But India’s electricity market is now closed for hydropower generated in Nepal by other countries like China, America, Korea and Norway. Even Nepal cannot build a hydropower project on its own and sell electricity to India.
The Independent Power Producers’ Association, Nepal (IPPAN) President Khadga Bista says: “These guidelines have forced Nepali and other companies to give at least 51 per cent share to Indian companies if they want to export electricity to India,” read a news story printed in the Naya Patrika daily.
India has given ‘strategic, national and economic importance’ to the new cross-border electricity trade guidelines, which also bars Nepal from buying electricity produced by non-Indian companies and selling it to India.