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India, Nepal to ink petroleum pipeline deal on Monday

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Credit: www.ndtv.com

Kathmandu: The much awaited Nepal-India petroleum pipeline project is set to take-off with the signing here on Monday of an MoU for construction of the 41-km Amlekhgunj-Raxaul petroleum pipeline with Indian assistance.

Nepal’s Minister for Commerce and Supplies Sunil Bahadur Thapa and Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan will sign the framework agreement in this regard. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to be signed between the two neighbouring countries, is about constructing a petroleum products pipeline from Raxaul (India) to Amlekhgunj (Nepal) and re-engineering of Amlekhgunj Depot and allied facilities.

Nepal’s ministry of commerce and supplies said the MoU would promote bilateral cooperation in the oil and gas sector and secure long-term supply of petroleum products to Nepal. Pradhan arrived here on Sunday for the signing of the MoU.

Credit: www.nepalmountainnews.com
Credit: www.nepalmountainnews.com

“It will further help to promote existing close and friendly relations between the two countries and their people. It would help save transportation cost, reduce leakage, and unhindered supply of petroleum products,” it said. The MoU will promote bilateral cooperation in the oil and gas sector and secure long-term supply of petroleum products to Nepal. It would help preserve the environment along the route and de-congest the international border at Raxaul, the Indian embassy here said in a release.

Nepal had requested India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country on August 3-4, last year, for construction of this petroleum products pipeline. Bearing in mind the close and friendly relations between the two nations and their people, this was agreed to by the Indian government. On behalf of the Indian government, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has been entrusted with the job to construct the pipeline and for re-engineering of the Amlekhgunj Depot and allied facilities.

The project will be completed in two phases. In the first phase, a petroleum products pipeline from Raxaul in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal would be constructed.  The IOC will bear an expense of INR 200 crore for the first phase of the project. There will be a long-term contract of 15 years (initial contract for five years extendible for two terms of five years each) between IOC and the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) the state-owned petroleum supply monopoly.

The NOC will also contribute INR 75 crore for re-engineering the Amlekhgunj Depot. Thirty-nine kilometres of the proposed cross-border petroleum pipeline lies in Indian territory and the remaining two kilometres in Nepal.

(IANS)

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First Hindu Temple Lays Foundation Stone in Abu Dhabi

The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said

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abu dhabi, hindu temple
The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. Wikimedia

The historic foundation stone-laying ceremony of the first traditional Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi was performed on Saturday in the presence of officials from India and the United Arab Emirates as well as thousands of members of the community.

The ceremony was presided over by Mahant Swami Maharaj — the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha — the organisation building the temple, along with other priests. Indian Ambassador Navdeep Suri attended the event in the presence of over 2,500 Indians from the UAE and across the world, according to Gulf News.

Suri and BAPS Hindu Mandir committee head and community leader B.R. Shetty were among those who laid foundation stones. Some 50 priests from India were part of the ceremony, the Khaleej Times reported.

Crown Prince, abu dhabi, hindu temple
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Wikimedia

UAE’s Minister of Climate Change Thani Al Zoyoudi and Ahmad Bilhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Sciences, were among the attendees.  The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said.

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The stones of the temple will be hand-carved by artisans in India and then transported to Abu Dhabi. Once completed, this will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East.

The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. (IANS)