Energy Minister demands Rs 29 billion to run Budhigandaki Hydel project
KATHMANDU: Minister for Energy Radha Gyawali said that the Finance Ministry should immediately allocate Rs 29 billion to run the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project, the project of national pride.
Complaining over the dillydallying of the Finance Ministry to allocate necessary budget, Minister Gyawali said that she held discussion with Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat in this regard today itself.
The Energy Minister said so at the meeting among bodies concerned at Energy Ministry today.
Leaders of Gorkha and Dhading districts had submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala demanding immediate construction of the project.
Stating that PM Koirala drew her attention to forward the construction works of the project at any cost, Minister Gyawali said that although Rs 58 billion was needed to complete the project including providing compensation to quake-affected Arughat folks, 50 per cent amount of the total budget was necessary for the time being.
She clarified that the remaining budget should be mentioned in the upcoming budget programme.
The Energy Minister said, "The policies and programmes of the government have also incorporated the issue of forwarding the project. The Ministry is also committed for the same. The Finance Ministry should allocate enough budget. Support of committees concerned is necessary on it."
Expressing belief that there would be no budget crisis as the Prime Minister also enquired about the project, Energy Secretary Rajendra Kishor Chhetri clarified that the Ministry is always positive regarding the implementation of the project.
Similarly, Chief Whip of the Nepali Congress, Chinkaji Shrestha, urged the Ministry to carry out different works including land acquisition from this year as the government's policies and programmes has also incorporated the issues for the fiscal year 2015/16.
Rajendra Pandey of the CPN-UML said that the government should be serious on the issues of resettlement at Budhigandaki, reconstruction of physical infrastructures of quake-hit areas, historical, archeological and religious sites, schools, health posts, among others.
Chairman of stakeholders committee, Sinesh Kumar Dhakal said that they have drawn the attention of the Finance Minister towards allocating the sufficient amount of budget for the same.