India approves $160 m for power projects in Nepal
Kathmandu: India has approved a soft loan of USD 160 million for three power projects in Nepal, fulfilling its commitment made to the power-starved neighbouring country.
Handing over an approval letter to the Finance Ministry yesterday, the Exim bank of India informed about sanctioning of the loan for a 220-KVA Koshi corridor transmission line, 132-KVA Solu corridor transmission line and 32-MW Rahughat hydropower project, under construction, Joint Secretary, Finance Ministry, Madhu Marasini said.
The loans have been sanctioned under the first phase of a 250-million dollar loan package commitment made by the bank a couple of years ago.
The commitment was made by the Indian government during a visit to India by the then Nepal Prime Minister and Maoist Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai.
The loan will help ease the acute power shortage being faced by Nepal, said Marasini.
This will help the industrial corridor of eastern Nepal to get rid of the power crisis, he added.
The construction of six medium-sized hydro power projects in eastern Nepal known as super six, which have a combined capacity of 130 MW, is halted due to lack of transmission lines, Marasini said.
As the Exim Bank of India has approved the loan, the construction work of the projects will start, he said.
This will mainly help in overcoming the power outage problem facing the industries situated in Koshi Industrial Corridor, he pointed out.