A joint team of technicians from Nepal and India carried out a test operation by sending water through the Motihari-Amlekhgunj pipeline. After a successful operation, both nations are hopeful the pipeline will come into operation within a month.
The Motihari-Amlekhgunj is the first cross-border fuel pipeline project in South-Asia. The pipeline is 70 kilometres long – 32.25 kms is in India (Raxaul – Motihari) and 37.25 kms in Nepal (Raxaul – Amlekhgunj).
The pipeline was first proposed in 1996. An agreement to construct the pipeline was signed in August, 2015 between Nepal’s Sunil Bahadur Thapa (then minister for commerce and supplies) and India’s Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. Although agreed to be completed within 30 months of from the date of receipt of statutory clearances, the project was severely delayed owing to several reasons.
Upon the successful test, several people associated with the project are positive the pipeline will begin operations within July. The project aims to ensure uninterrupted flow of fuel from India to Nepal. In the initial phase, diesel will be supplied via the pipeline. Petrol and kerosene are to supplied in a later phase. The pipeline shall also decrease the transportation cost of fuel.