No need for SC to intervene on Arun-III MoU: Ministry

Kathmandu, May 11:

The Ministry of Water Resources today told the Supreme Court that there is no need for the apex court to intervene in the matters related with the Arun-III hydropower project.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sutlej Energy Corporation on harnessing energy from Arun river is not a contract and therefore there is no need for a paliamentary approval by two-third majority, the ministry stated in its written reply to the court today.

The MoU does not violate any provision in the Electricity Act 1992 and its Regulation 1993, the Ministry said.

The ministry also informed that the Indian power company has agreed to pay Rs 450 million to Nepal government for investment in basic infrastructure of the project.

In his explanation, secretary at the Ministry, Shankar Prasad Koirala claimed that the MoU

has not infringed upon anyone’s right to information as claimed by the writ petitioner and that the agreement was reached after consensus among the political parties.

“Failure on the part of the implementing agency to meet the deadline would result in seizure of the bond money,” the reply read. An agreement has been reached to complete the project in 60 months and that the project would be handed over to Nepal after 30 years. This project is not against the national interest, he said in reply.

On March 13, a group of people, including advocate Ravin Subedi, had filed a Public Interest Litigation in the apex court claiming that the MoU should have parliamentary approval and that the government withheld information in the MoU.