Only seven kilometers of fuel pipeline project remains to be completed
Birendra Karna Birgunj, April 8: Works of cutting down trees for making room for installing petroleum pipeline within nine kilometers stretch of the Parsa National Park are moving ahead expeditiously.
The works are being undertaken as part of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj Petroleum Pipeline Project, a priority project of the governments of Nepal and India.
The Project Office Simara said construction works are going on vigorously in the nine kilometers stretch of the total 36.2 kilometres within the national park on Nepal side. Laying down of pipeline has been completed within two kilometers of this nine kilometers stretch.
Project engineer Sharad Kumar Poudyal said petrol would be brought from India once the work of installing the pipeline, which is being carried out in an expeditious manner, completes. He said it will take maximum three months for it to complete.
Six thousand five hundred and sixty three trees have to be chopped in the seven kilometers stretch which is taking place vigorously. The work of cutting trees has started with the meeting of the Council of Ministers endorsing the same on January 17.
The federal government will pay Rs 19.5 million to the Parsa National Park as compensation for cutting down trees.
The Indian Oil Corporation has stated that works on installing the pipeline has been completed on 33.7 kilometres from Motihari to Raxaul transit point. The pipeline which is billed as “Nepal’s fuel lifeline”, is 70 kilometres long from Motihari to Amlekhgunj of India. The Government of India has invested Indian Rs 3.5 billion for the construction of this project.
Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi had launched the ground-breaking ceremony of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj oil project through live-streaming at Hyderabad House, New Delhi, on April 7, 2018, during the former’s official visit to the southern neighbour.
The project involves laying a 10.75-inch diameter cross-country pipeline, with fuel pumping facilities at Motihari. Out of the total length, 32.7 km of pipeline will be laid in Indian territory and 36.2 km will be laid in Nepali territory. The pipeline will have the capacity to supply 200,000 litres of fuel per hour.
Nepal and India had signed the project agreement in 2015 with the target to complete it within 2017. However it got delayed due to several policy hurdles. As a result, the cost of building the Motihari-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline is expected to have gone up by at least 15 per cent compared to the initial projection owing to the inflation of construction materials required for the project like pipes, rods, cement and labour costs, among others. The project is expected to be crucial to ensure regular supply of petroleum products in Nepal and reduce fuel transportation costs.