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PM Modi and his Nepalese counterpart to jointly inaugurate South Asia's first cross-border pipeline

File photo: PM Modi Photograph:( IANS )

WION New Delhi Sep 09, 2019, 11.28 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

More than 20 years after it was first proposed, the first cross border commercial oil pipeline will start functioning between India and Nepal. 

The pipeline from Motihari in Bihar to Amlekhganj in Nepal will transfer petroleum products such as diesel, LPG, aviation turbine fuel etc.

A release from the Indian Prime Minister's office said,"This India-Nepal energy cooperation project, the Motihari-Amlekhganj pipeline, is a symbol of our close bilateral relations."

Adding, "It will help to enhance the energy security of the region and substantially cut down on transit costs."

India's prime minister Narendra Modi and Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will jointly inaugurate it at 12 noon on Tuesday via a video link.

The idea of the pipeline was first proposed in 1996 and finalised in 2014 during PM Modi's Nepal visit. It was approved by Indian Oil at a total cost of Rs 324 crore in September 2015 but the work was delayed following the earthquake of 2015. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in April last year during PM Oli's India visit.

The pipeline will replace road transportation and ensure uninterrupted supplies. The pipeline is 68 km long with has a capacity of 2 million tonnes per annum. 32.7km of the pipeline is in Indian territory and 36.2 km in Nepal's territory.

There will be pumping facilities at Motihari and Amlekhganj terminal is revamped and has storage, receiving facilities and fire fighting facilities.

New Delhi is also working on 130 kilometres long India Bangladesh friendship pipeline whose construction was jointly inaugurated by PM Modi and Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina in September 2018. It will connect Siliguri in West Bengal with Parbatipur in Bangladesh with a total cost of Rs 346 crore.