India-Nepal Statement on Untapped potential of Inland Waterways ,Agriculture and Expanding Rail Linkages.
India-Nepal Statements – Joint Projects –
Visit of Prime Minister Oli To India March 2018
New Connectivity through Inland Waterways
The Prime Ministers of India and Nepal recognised the untapped potential of inland waterways to contribute towards overall economic development of the region. Taking cognizance of their geographies and noting the development of inland waterways in both countries, the two Prime Ministers took the landmark decision to develop the inland waterways for the movement of cargo, within the framework of trade and transit arrangements, providing additional access to sea for Nepal. This new initiative would enable cost effective and efficient movement of cargo. The Prime Minister of Nepal noted the enormous impact the additional connectivity would have on the growth of business and economy of Nepal.
To facilitate the movement of traffic-in-transit, the two leaders directed their respective officials to formulate and mutually agree upon the requisite procedures and modalities for including inland waterways as an additional means of transport in the Protocol to the Treaty of Transit between India and Nepal.
India-Nepal Statement on New Partnership in Agriculture
Noting the critical importance and contribution of agriculture and allied sectors to their respective economies, the Prime Ministers of India and Nepal reaffirmed their resolve to promote cooperation in agricultural science and technology, agricultural production and agro-processing in line with the Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries for mutual benefit of farmers, consumers, scientific community as well as the private sector.
The two Prime Ministers agreed to give fresh momentum to bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector and decided to launch a New Partnership in Agriculture. The Partnership will be anchored by the Ministers for Agriculture of the two countries and will focus on collaborative projects in agricultural research & development, education, training and scholarships; strengthening of supply and value chain; climate resilience; research in seed technology; soil health; strengthening infrastructure of plant protection laboratories; research in indigenous genetic resources; animal husbandry; veterinary research and development facilities; agro forestry; bio pesticides, bio fertilizers; cooperative farming, and promoting exchanges between the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC).
The two sides will organize the first meeting of the Partnership at an early date to concretize priority areas of mutual interest and to develop a work plan for joint implementation. The Indian side announced a pilot project on organic farming and soil health monitoring for implementation in Nepal.
India-Nepal Statement on Expanding Rail Linkages: Connecting Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal
With the objective of expanding connectivity to enhance people-to-people linkages and promote economic growth and development, the Prime Ministers of India and Nepal agreed to construct a new electrified rail line, with India’s financial support, connecting the border city of Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal. As a first step, it was agreed that Government of India would, in consultation with the Government of Nepal, carry out preparatory survey work within one year, and the two sides would finalize the implementation and funding modalities of the project based on the Detailed Project Report. The Prime Minister of Nepal assured that the Government of Nepal will extend full cooperation for early completion of the requisite surveys for the new rail line.
The two Prime Ministers appreciated the progress made in the implementation of Phase-I of the India-Nepal cross-border rail link projects. The two leaders noted that the stretch of railway lines from Jayanagar to Janakpur/Kurtha and from Jogbani to Biratnagar Custom Yard will be completed in 2018, and that work on the remaining stretch of the ongoing rail link projects: (a) Jayanagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas and (b) Jogbani-Biratnagar, will be taken forward on priority. India expressed appreciation for Nepal’s commitment to expeditiously resolve all outstanding issues, including land availability, for the ongoing rail link projects.
The two Prime Ministers noted with appreciation that the India-Nepal Joint Working Group has been meeting regularly to discuss issues relating to operation of train services on the ongoing cross-border rail link projects. It was agreed that the JWG would identify requirements for operating train services on these cross-border rail links, and finalize the bilateral modalities expeditiously.
The two leaders emphasized the importance of implementing the remaining three links under Phase-II of the India-Nepal cross-border rail link projects: (i) New Jalpaiguri-Kakarbhitta, (b) Nautanwa-Bhairahawa, and (c) Nepalgunj Road-Nepalgunj. Welcoming the ongoing Final Location Survey of the three links, the two leaders agreed to expedite completion of the remaining survey work.