In a gesture aimed at increasing closeness between the two nations, having strong cultural and religious ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli, jointly launched the neighbouring country’s biggest hydroelectric project, at the touch of a button, here on Friday.
The two Premiers pressed a button on a remote system, officially starting the construction on 900 MW hydro-power project Arun III Hydroelectric Power Plant, based in Tumlingtar area of eastern Nepal
The project, being built under the expertise of Indian firm Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Limited, will be the single biggest foreign investment project in the Himalayan nation, which has been facing a financial crunch, off late.
“As Nepal enters a new era of consolidating the gains of a democracy and achieving economic growth, India remains a steadfast partner,” Mr Modi had posted on Twitter, before starting his visit.
According to local media reports, Project officials were in the final stages of agreement with the State Bank of India for investment of about Rs 3600 crore for the Arun 3 project, with the rest coming from SJVN.
“The power plant will provide employment, economic and business opportunities to Nepal,” Mr Modi told reporters here.
Earlier in the day, Mr Modi visited the Janaki temple in janakpur and announced an assistance of Rs 100 crore for the development of Janakpur, believed to be the birthplace of Sita.
‘I am glad to be here in Janakpur. I am here to pay respects to King Janak and Mata Janaki. I thank the PM of Nepal Shri Oli for accompanying me during this visit to Janakpur. India will invest Rs 100 crore for the development of Janakpur,’ said Mr Modi, while delivering a speech at a civic reception.
Mr Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Mr K P Sharma Oli jointly inaugurated a direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya. “This is a historic moment,” Mr Modi said.
On Saturday, he will visit Muktinath as well as Pashupathi Nath temple. Later, he will meet leaders of various political parties.