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Bangladesh to help Nepal manage water resources, hydropower

Publication Date : 01-08-2012

 

With an aim to import 1000 megawatt of electricity, Bangladesh has agreed to cooperate with Nepal in managing water resources and hydropower.

The two countries also stressed the need for a trilateral discussion with India, in this regard, soon.

At a foreign secretary level meeting yesterday, Bangladesh and Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering sectors that include water resources, trade and investment, connectivity, tourism and education.

Bangladesh also intends to import hydropower from Bhutan, through sub-regional talks.

Official sources said Dhaka expects to host a meeting of joint working group in September. The joint working group would aim to ensure cooperation among the three countries in managing the rivers shared by Nepal and Bhutan and help involve Bangladesh in the proposed hydropower projects in Shaptakushi of Nepal and Sankush of Bhutan.

Bangladesh and India have suggested names of the experts for the two joint working groups, while Nepal and Bhutan are yet to nominate their experts.

Officials said Nepal has approximately 40,000MW of economically feasible potential hydropower. It has also been working on another project since 1996 to generate 3,000MW of hydropower from Shaptakushi River.

Even with a deadline as close as February 2013, Nepal has not made any significant progress in the project, creating an opportunity for Bangladesh to import 1000MW electricity through extending its cooperation.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes said a technical team from Power Division of Bangladesh had recently visited Kathmandu to exchange views with their Nepalese counterparts.

Similarly, Bhutan and India have several hydropower projects with a potential to generate 10,000MW in which Bangladesh also showed its interest.

“We are expecting both Nepal and Bhutan to nominate their experts for the joint working groups soon,” said a senior official of the foreign ministry, adding, “We hope to hold at least one group meeting in Dhaka”.

 

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