West Seti hydro project in limbo

DHANGADHI: The main committee of West Seti Hydro Project has protested the decision of the Energy Ministry of not renewing the license of the project showing several conditions.

Issuing a press release today chairman of the committee Ratan Saud demanded the Ministry to withdraw its' decision. The press release states, ''We protest the decision of the ministry regarding the project which is directly connected to the future of the people of far western Region.''

One hundred and 60 staffers of the project have lost their jobs, the job of developing managed habitation of the project area is left in limbo due to the unwise decision of the Ministry, states the press release.

The release also states that the government has not provided compensation to the locals affected by the project and has showed apathy to develop the infrastructure of the area.

The ministry has sent a letter to the project administration stating that it would suspend the license of the project if the project failed to disclose details of investors and start the project work within March.

The project administration has shut eight information centres and gave pink slip to the 24 staffers of the centres saying that the ministry was negative towards the renewal of the license.

The project also has already given retirement letter to other 146 staffers except the staffers of Far Western Region effective from March 1.

Meanwhile, boards of the project have been removed from all the information centres today. The project had established eight information centres in Doti, Baitadi, Dadeldhura and Kailali districts.

However, the staffers have refused to take the retirement letter. Tapta Saud, assistant, Dhangadi information centre, said,'' We have given retirement letter with the salary of March and April,'' adding,'' Staffers of all the centres will come to Dhangadi on Sunday and decide weather to receive the retirement letter or not.''

During his China visit in December, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal had inked an agreement to give 51 percent project share to China National Machinery and Export Corporation(CMEC), a company owned by the Chinese company. SMEC had begun the project work in 1994 with the objective of producing 750 MW electricity. The project had aimed to construct a dam over the Seti River, which flows through Doti, Dadeldhura, Baitadi and Bajhang districts. CMEC has been demanding to renew its license for a year unconditionally.