New Delhi: Prime  Minister Narendra Modi with his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday inaugurated the India-Nepal cross-border Motihari-Amlekhganj (Nepal) petroleum product pipeline over video conferencing.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, PM Modi said that it is a matter of pride and “great satisfaction” that the Indo-Nepal pipeline is the first cross-border pipeline in South Asia and that it has been completed in record time. “It was ready in half the time than expected,” he said.

Commending the Nepal government for its efforts in the joint project, PM Modi said, “The credit for this goes to your leadership, the support of the Government of Nepal and our joint efforts.”

He reiterated that it will help to enhance security of the region and “substantially cut down on transit costs”.

Recalling the 2015 earthquake that rocked Nepal, PM Narendra Modi highlighted the support India has shown to the neighbouring country. “After the devastating earthquake in 2015 when Nepal took up the reconstruction, India extended its hand for cooperation as a neighbour and a close friend. I am very happy that due to our joint cooperation houses have been built again in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts of Nepal. The roof has resurfaced on the heads of ordinary people,” he said.

Modi added, “Over the years we have had an unprecedented closeness to the highest level, and there has been regular contact. In the last one-and-a-half years, my friend, Mr Oli, and I have met four times.”

He reaffirmed India’s commitment to helping Nepal for developmental works according to its own priorities.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has taken Twitter and called the project “a symbol of our bilateral relations” that will boost India’s close ties with Nepal.

The Motihari-Amlekhganj oil pipeline project was first proposed in 1996 but it edged closer to reality during Modi’s visit to Kathmandu in Nepal in 2014. India has invested Rs 3.5 billion to install the bilateral pipeline.

The foundation stone was laid down by the two PMs at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi during PM Oli’s visit to India last year.