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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today pledged to end Nepal's crippling blackouts and offered to buy electricity from the country, scotching reports that India was attempting to monopolise water resources of this Himalayan nation.
"Nepal can free India of its darkness with its electricity," said Modi, who today became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the neighbouring nation in 17 years.
"We don't want it free. We want to buy power. We don't even want to take your water...India wants to walk shoulder to shoulder with you. You take the decisions. By just selling power, you can become a developed nation," Modi said.
"I want to double the amount of electricity India is providing Nepal today so we have to lay the transmission lines as soon as possible," the Prime Minister said.
The two sides have also agreed to take decision regarding Nepal India Power Trading Agreement within the next 45 days.
Days ahead of Modi's visit, the Nepalese media had raised questions regarding the draft of a hydropower cooperation proposed by India. The reports alleged that the draft is against Nepal's national interest as it would seek to monopolise Nepal's abundant water resources by India.
This forced the Indian officials here to say that the country does not intend to monopolise Nepal's water resources and is ready to review the proposed draft of hydropower cooperation with it to accommodate any suggestions for mutual benefit.
"This is just a preliminary draft and we are ready to accommodate any suggestion from the Nepalese side before moving forward in hydropower through consensus," Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Ranjit Rae said late last month.
"We don't have any ill intentions to monopolise Nepal's water resources. These are a part of our efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation in hydropower," Rae had said.
The two countries can settle the disputed issues through a dialogue, he said.
"The proposal is not our final version," Rae said, adding, India is ready to review the draft after discussions with Nepal.