House panel defers meet on West Seti project

Kathmandu, June 16:

The meeting of the Parliamentary Natural Resources Committee, which was scheduled to debate options on the West Seti Hydroelectricity Project (WSHP) today, has been postponed till next Saturday. “We were supposed to meet today. But we have now

decided to meet tentatively by next Saturday only,” said CPN-UML member of parliament Prakash Jwala.

The meeting, which was fixed by the NRC for today after posing a few questions to the government on the contents of the contract related to the project, was expected to receive latest view of the government on the issue.

The committee had expected to see Minister of State for Water Resources Gyanendra Bahadur Karki to answer the questions raised by it as part of the government initiative to push the project ahead.

The main question raised was on the chance of the Nepali side getting additional power to the tune of 10 per cent as royalty over and above what Nepal should be getting under the law.

Second question was on the fate of 760 families, which will be displaced by the power project.

The committee had also invited representatives of the political parties to speak on the project and its conditions of contract.

Jwala said that the meeting could not take place because the members were busy with issues ranging from visiting controversial stone quarry in a Lalitpur village to field visits to Kapilvastu and Bardiya in connection with inspection of local forests amid report of felling of trees.

“We will stick to our stance on additional royalty. We will not settle on anything less. If the government goes ahead in its own way, we will have the parliament intervene,” Jwala said, apprehending a position whereby the government may settle down for cash as additional 10 per cent royalty.