Consumers for local investment in Upper Tamakoshi project

Kathmandu, January 11:

Consumers today demanded that the government encourage Nepali investors to fund the Rs 30 billion Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectricity project, which is awaiting funding to produce 309 MW of power.

“The government should prevent any foreign investors from coming in the project and it should be carried out as a pure Nepali project ,” said Ram Chandra Chataut, the chairman of Water Users’ Federation Nepal.

He also said that there is possibility of collecting Rs 30 billion from Nepali investors as Karmachari Sanchaya Kosh alone has around Rs 8 to 10 billion. In addition, other major investors like Nepal Insurance Corporation, Citizens’ Provident Fund, commercial banks, Nepal Army and others can contribute Rs 14 to 15 billion.

Chataut said that the electricity to be generated from the project should be distributed to domestic consumers. “When 80 per cent of the total population do not have access to electricity facility, we cannot imagine of exporting electricity ,” he added.

Arjun Kumar Karki, the managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority said though the investors have not been finalised, the Upper Tamakoshi Project is in the government’s high priority.

“We know that the project is going to be a potential project so, we have started construction of access road, as a initial development works in the project area, without finalising the investors,” he said, adding that the project needs a debt of Rs 21 billion as the government is ready to pay Rs 9 billion as equity.