CA members want agreement on West Seti hydel project reviewed

Kathmandu, July 6:

Four Constituent Assembly members from Bajhang and Kailali districts today demanded revision of the agreement the government signed with the West Seti Hydro Power Limited.

“We are not against the hydroelectricity project, but we need to know how and on which ground the government had signed the agreement,” said Sankhar Khadka, a CA member from Bajhang.

Another CA member Bhanubhakta Joshi said the local people are against the multi-billion dollar project because of the irresponsible dealing by the politicians during the agreement signing process.

“I asked the Minister for Water Resources Gyanendra Bahadur Karki about reality and rumours of the West Seti Project, but he refused to give us any information and said that nothing is in his hand and suggested us to go to the street to protest against the project.”

Shankar Khadka, also a CA member from the district, said the government had always hid information about the agreement and refused to provide us with literature, as if minister Karki was committing crime for his personal benefit, which made the lawmakers even more suspicious. “The previous governments neglected the demands of the people. If this goes on, we will even demolish the dam.”

He said the government tasked to hold the CA elections did not have the right to sign such an agreement, which will have long-term impact on the country’s economy. Since the country is heading towards federalism, the local federal government should be allowed to make decisions on the future of the West Seti project, he said. Bharat Baduwal, a CA member from Kailali district, said, “The people of the far-west region were betrayed by the government and central leaders.”

Earlier, economist Ratna Sansar Shrestha presented various aspects of the West Seti Project.