New Delhi, Sep 10: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated Asia’s first cross-border petroleum pipeline, between India and Nepal. He said the Motihari-Amlekhganj pipeline is a symbol of the close ties between the two countries.
The Rs 3.5 billion oil pipeline project was first proposed in 1996 but gained momentum only after PM Modi’s visit to Nepal in 2014. Modi and Nepal premier KP Sharma Oli had jointly laid the foundation stone for the project at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi during Oli’s visit to India last year.
“It is a matter of great satisfaction that the first cross-border petroleum pipeline of South Asia has been completed in record time. It was ready in half the time than expected,” Modi said in an address. He said the credit goes to the leadership in Nepal, the support of the government of Nepal and joint efforts between the two countries.
PM Modi reiterated India’s commitment to help in the Himalayan nation’s development. “After the devastating earthquake in 2015 when Nepal took up the reconstruction, India extended its hand for cooperation as a neighbour and a close friend. I am happy that due to our joint cooperation houses have been built again in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts of Nepal,” he said.
The Motihari-Amlekhganj pipeline was expected to commence operations in mid-April this year but was delayed due to permission to cut trees inside Parsa National Park in Nepal.