Nepal readies to welcome PM Modi again next month

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Oct 30, 2014 13:43 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi managed to woo most of Nepal during his Kathmandu trip in August. A repeat performance is expected when he arrives here again next month.

The main agenda for Modi’s four-day visit beginning November 25 is to attend the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit. But religious trips and bilateral issues will also be in focus.

Modi who had visited Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu in August will tour Janakpur, the mythological birthplace of Goddess Sita, Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha and Muktinath Temple in Mustang.

“We had requested the Prime Minister to start the visit by entering Nepal by road to visit the Janaki Temple in Janakpur. He had agreed to the plan. But logistical and security details will have to be looked into before it is finalized,” said Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae.

Janakpur, which is located in Dhanusha district, is close to the Indo-Nepal border touching Bihar and there is a possibility that Modi might travel few hours by road from Patna to reach there.

“We have received intimation that Modi’s visit could start from Janakpur. Security arrangements are being beefed up and repair and beautification work of the Janaki Temple will begin in a few days,” said Krishna Prasad Dhungana, chief district officer of Dhanusha.

During his stay in Kathmandu Modi will also hold bilateral discussions with his Nepal counterpart Sushil Koirala and both countries could ink some important agreements, sources said.

A motor vehicle agreement, which has been in the pipeline since 2004, is likely to be signed. It envisages direct bus services between both nations and will make it easier and cheaper for citizens to travel to either country in their personal vehicles.

Signing of the Project Development Agreement (PDA) between Nepal’s Investment Board and India’s Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) for the 900MW Arun III hydro-power project is also expected during Modi’s trip.

Handing over of the 200-bedded trauma centre in Kathmandu built with Indian aid and start of a youth exchange programme between both nations are other issues on Modi’s agenda.

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