Meeting on Mid-Marsyangdi on in Germany

Kathmandu, June 15:

Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Arjun Karki is currently in Germany attending a meeting related with the 70 MW Mid-Marsyangdi Hydroelectricity Project (MMHP).

The week-long meeting was called by Krebitanstanstalt fur Wiedaraufbau (KfW), the German Development Bank, in the wake of the continued delay in the project. The project was expected to be completed in 2004.

Karki is accompanied by MMHP Project Manager, Madhav Prasad Khakurel and Deputy Managing Director of NEA Uttar Kumar Shrestha. They had left for Germany on Monday and are expected to return by June 20.The meeting will dwell on what can be done to ensure that the work in the project goes ahead in a planned manner and is completed by March 2008.

“The meeting will be attended by the NEA officials from the Nepali side, the KfW as a funding agency and a representative each of the consultant Fichtner and the contractor Dywidav-Dragados CWE-Joint Venture (DDCJV). The agenda is technical and financial aspect,” NEA spokesman Danda Pani Basyal.

The team is expected to come back with stern guidelines from the funding agency, it has been further learned. The project had been facing a number of bottlenecks including intimidation from the Maoists and bureaucratic delays, ever since it had gone into implementation as an NEA institutional project.

The delays and institutional corruption has pushed the cost of the project well beyond an initial estimate at Rs.13 billion. It is expected to hit Rs 24 billion by the time it nears completion by March 2008.