Mid-Marsyangdi 'corruption' under CIAA scanner

KATHMANDU: Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) is likely to take decision on an alleged corruption case in the Mid-Marshyangdi Hydroelectricity Project within a month.

"After necessary investigation into the alleged irregularities, we'll decide the case within a month," said Lalit Bahadur Limbu, Acting Chief Commissioner, CIAA. The constitutional anti-graft body has been studying as to how and why the initially estimated amount was doubled when the project was completed. Its probe follows complaints of embezzlement of billions of rupees in the project.

According to him, the investigation has zeroed in on the longer time duration, which took four more years for the completion, and the additional investment of Rs 15 billion in the original costing. Although Rs 13 billion was estimated as the project cost in the beginning, the project was completed with Rs 28 billion.

"We've almost completed recording the statement of the authorities concerned. Now, we are analysing the report," Limbu said. "We'll either file case or recommend for departmental action against the accused, if found any," he added.

The 70-MW project — the second largest hydel project in the country — was constructed with the financing of KFW, a German government-owned bank.

The CIAA recorded the statements of Sarvendra Nath Shukla, the then Minister of Water Resources, and then Managing Director of the Nepal Electricity Authority Janak Lal Karmacharya and members Ratneshwor Lal Kayastha, Ratna Sanshar Shrestha, Kishor Babu Aryal, Bhanu Prasad Acharya amd Ambika Shrestha.