Nepal | August 07, 2020

Govt told to scrap Budhigandaki deal with Chinese contractor

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Budhigandaki River where the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project will be carried out. Photo Courtsey: Nepal Government BHPDC

Kathmandu, September 25

A joint meeting of the Agriculture and Water Resource Committee and Finance Committee of the Legislature-Parliament today instructed the government to scrap the Budhigandaki deal with the Chinese company — China Gezhouba Group Corporation — citing lack of transparency while awarding the contract of national pride project.

The last Cabinet meeting of the government led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal had decided to hand over the Budhigandaki project to the CGGC under EPCF (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Financing) contract, and the then energy minister Janardan Sharma had signed a memorandum of understanding in that regard on June 4.

The 1,200-megawatt Budhigandaki deal landed in controversy as the caretaker government had signed MoU with the CGGC, breaching the general principle of competitive bidding in accordance with procurement rules.

“The earlier government breached the established norms of competitive bidding and hand-picked a company that has a very bad reputation in developing hydel projects in Nepal,” said Prakash Jwala, chairman of the Finance Committee. The joint meeting of the two House panels had summoned the minister and high-ranking officials at the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance and sought clarifications from them before taking the decision.

In the meeting today, the State Minister for Energy Shambhu Lal Shrestha admitted that legal requirements were not met before the Budhigandaki deal was inked.

Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, State Minister for Energy Shrestha and Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi were present in the meeting.

The Dahal-led government handed over the EPCF contract to the CGGC, without framing EPCF guidelines. According to a study carried out by a French company — Tractebel Engineering (France) — the cost of developing the 1,200-megawatt project is expected to be around Rs 260 billion.

The Dahal-led government was criticised for handing over the national priority project to the Chinese company, which could be developed from domestic resources. Experts believe that Nepal can build the project with its own resources through proper planning.

The Nepal representative of the CGGC refused to comment on the House panels’ decision.

Meanwhile, the government has already initiated distributing land compensation to people in project-affected areas. The land compensation and resettlement cost is expected to hover at around Rs 50 billion.


Company with chequered past

  • CGGC was black-listed during construction of Sanjen Hydropower Project
  • Chilime Hydropower Project had terminated the construction contract and seized the collateral from CGGC
  • CGGC has also taken over a decade to complete the 30-megawatt Chameliya Project
  • The 60-megawatt Upper Trishuli 3A being developed by CGGC was initially supposed to be completed by June 30, 2011. The deadline has already been extended thrice — first to April 30, 2013, then by 26 months to June 30, 2016 and then again for another 34 months since the last deadline

READ ALSO:


A version of this article appears in print on September 26, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Bharatpur

Encroachment blamed for inundation

CHITWAN, AUGUST 5 Encroachment of the main city area of Bharatpur Metropolitan City and the canal of Narayani lift irrigation project has caused inundation of the city area. Construction of road in the area and building of structures by burying the canal has led to inundation in the city, said Read More...

Kailali

Body left to rot in hope of resurrection

TIKAPUR, AUGUST 5 “Religious belief of bringing the dead back to life” has allowed a dead body to rot. The mortal remains of a man of Tikapur-1 of Kailali district started stinking after a pastor in the locality assured the family of the deceased that the deceased would resurrect with his pra Read More...

30 rape cases in 4 years in Darchula

DARCHULA, AUGUST 5 Darchula, the district in Sudurpaschim state, reported 30 cases of rape and attempted rape against women and girls in the past four years. According to Darchula District Police Office, most perpetrators are from within the circles of families, relatives and are known to the Read More...

Aviation ministry preparing protocols to resume international flights

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 5 As the government has announced all domestic and international flights will be resumed from August 17, all the concerned authorities are busy preparing protocols on how to manage the flights and passengers during this pandemic. Spokesperson for Ministry of Culture, Tourism Read More...

1,313 Nepalis repatriated

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 5 More than 1,000 Nepalis were repatriated today via eight flights. According to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), a total of 1,313 Nepalis were repatriated today. Nepal Airlines Corporation evacuated 151 and 265 passengers from Doha in Qatar and Dubai in the United Arab Read More...

Ncell transforms into a public company

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 5 The country’s largest private telecom company Ncell has been transformed into a public company. Publishing a notice today, Ncell informed its transformation to a public company. With this transformation, Ncell will now be recognised as Ncell Axiata Ltd and all its oper Read More...

Gandaki Province CM Prithivi Subba Gurung

No statutory ground to seek PM’s resignation

Gandaki Province chief minister Prithvi Subba Gurung is NCP (NCP) Gandaki Province in-charge. A former secretary of then CPN-UML party, Gurung is the supporter of Prime Minister and NCP (NCP) co-chairperson KP Sharma Oli. As the intra-party feud has escalated lately, CM Gurung has been quite occupie Read More...

Valencia captaincy snub hastened exit, says City's Torres

Spanish winger Ferran Torres said Valencia's failure to hand him the captain's armband and make him one of their highest-paid players were key factors in his decision to join Manchester City. The 20-year-old joined the Premier League side on a five-year contract this week for a fee reported t Read More...