Nepal Oil Corporation has revived the plan to construct a 41-km direct pipeline from Raxaul to Amlekhgunj to reduce fuel transportation costs across the border.
Raxaul is located on the India-Nepal border, around 210km north of the state capital. Nepal Oil Corporation has already initiated the process of land acquisition and sent a detailed proposal to the National Planning Commission, Nepal, said the corporation’s acting managing director, Suresh Kumar Agrawal.
Indian Oil Corporation sources also confirmed the proposed pipeline revival plan.
A technical committee formed to look into the delayed pipeline project has made recommendations to the National Planning Commission, Nepal, and suggested measures.
The Indian Oil Corporation first proposed the project in 1995. On January 3, 2013, the Nepal cabinet had agreed in principle to develop the project and subsequently the Himalayan Kingdom’s National Planning Commission also formed a committee to look into the legal and technical complexities.
The committee led by Agrawal had submitted its report to National Planning Commission, Nepal, in March 2013 but the project failed to make headway after the commission’s vice-chairman and members tendered their resignations.
“As Nepal has no expertise in petroleum pipeline, we have recommended that the project be built under the build-operate-transfer mode by the Indian Oil Corporation. Later, the project would be transferred to the Nepal Oil Corporation,” said Agrawal. The Indian Oil Corporation employees will also train the Nepalese technicians, he added.
The depot in-charge of Indian Oil Corporation at Raxaul, Sumeet Mandal, told The Telegraph: “We have information regarding the proposed pipeline form Raxaul to Amlekhgunj in Nepal. However, it can be possible only after shifting the Indian Oil Corporation depot from Raxaul to a new place near Sugauli for which the process has been started.”
On Feb 17, 2010, the Nepal cabinet had approved Nepal Oil Corporation’s new action plan for its construction.
According to the plan, Nepal and India would have constructed the pipeline separately in their respective territories. The pipeline would then be linked after signing a bilateral treaty. Initially, the project has been estimated at Rs 1.60 billion excluding the cost of land acquisition.