The commercial operation of Motihari-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline project will start from August, 2019 following the virtual inauguration of the India-Nepal bilateral project by executive heads of the two countries.
According to the report, Nepal will officially start fuel trade with India via the pipeline after its virtual launch by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
The groundwork for the inauguration in the first week of August has been confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nepal Oil Corporation. According to sources in MoFA, there is a possibility that the inauguration of the project would be done by the heads of state of the two nations as President Bidhya Devi Bhandari during her recent visit to India had invited her Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind for an official visit to Nepal.
Sources further informed that while the first option is more likely, the two governments are also exploring the possibility of the second option.
The project was first proposed in 1996 and it has finally edged closer to reality during Narendra Modi’s visit to Kathmandu in 2014. The initial cost of the project was estimated to be Rs. Rs. 2.75 billion, where the Government of India would inject Rs. 2 billion but the NOC stated that total project cost escalated to almost Rs. 3.25 billion.