Nepal asks India to pay over $1 mn power dues

September 29th, 2008 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Sep 29 (IANS) Smarting with its sole fuel seller Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for slashing supplies for non-payment of dues and triggering an acute fuel scarcity for almost two years now, Nepal is hitting out by asking India to clear the power bills accrued for the past four months amounting to 78 million Nepali rupees (over $1 million).India’s border state of Bihar owes the money to Nepal, from whom it buys electricity for use in its Valmikinagar town.

Nepal Electricity Authority’s (NEA) border office branch in Nawalparasi district told the Maoist media Monday that the Indian state has not paid its power bills for the last four months despite repeated letters.

“We have (now) asked the union government (in New Delhi) to take the necessary steps,” NEA chief in Nawalparasi Navraj Subedi told the Janadisha daily run by the country’s ruling Maoists.

The report comes as India and Nepal Monday resumed bilateral talks on water issues, including the recent devastation wreaked by the Kosi river in both Bihar and southern Nepal’s Sunsari district.

According to an old water treaty, the Bihar government has to repair and maintain the barrage, embankments and other structures built on the Kosi river on Nepali soil since India drives greater irrigation advantages from the pact.

However, Nepal’s officials say the devastating flood last month was caused by Bihar’s negligence despite repeated attempts to draw its attention to the potential danger.

The floods destroyed over 50,000 homes in Nepal and unleashed even greater havoc in Bihar where over 3 million became homeless.

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