THT 10 years ago: Apex court told govt will resettle West Seti-hit

Kathmandu,October 30, 2007

The Department of Electricity Development (DoED) today told the Supreme Court that the government will resettle some 10,000 people who will be displaced by the proposed 750 MW West Seti Hydro-power Project. The DoED said this while submitting a written affidavit at the Supreme Court responding to a show cause notice issued three months ago.

“The government can reach to an agreement with anyone regarding generation of electricity,” the affidavit submitted by director general of the DoED, Jayakeshar Mayake, said. The project’s environmental impact assement report has estimated that some 7,876 people of 1,003 houses will be severely affected by the activities related with the West Seti project, while 1,193 persons of 152 houses estimated to be partially affected and that they would be resettled in the nearest area from the project site, Mayake said.

Nepal government and an Australian power company had on June 27, 1997, signed an agreement to authorise the latter to run the one billion US dollar project. Challenging the agreement, Chairman of Federation of Water and Energy Consumers, Ram Chandar Chatatut, had filed a PIL in the apex court seeking the court’s intervention through certiorari order to scrap the agreement between the government and the West Seti Hydro Electricity Corporation Limited promoted by Snowy Mountain Engineering Corporation.

The petitioner had claimed that the government violated the constitutional provisions and international laws on human rights while signing the agreement related with the project.

Ananta admits Maoists abducted Shah

Kathmandu, October 30, 2007

Maoist leader Barsha Man Pun ‘Ananta’ today conceded that the journalist Birendra Shah, who disappeared 25 days ago from Bara district, was abducted by Maoist cadres.

But he refused to reveal the the journalist’s whereabouts. “We have no policy or programme to attack or abduct any journalist. Journalist Birendra Shah was abducted by our party cadres but personal enmity was to blame,” said he, while speaking at Reporters’ Club. “It was not the party’s decision,” he said.

Pun added that the accused Lal Bahadur Chaudhary, a former chief of “people’s government” of the area, is out of contact and the party has no idea about where the journalist has been kept.

When journalists asked whether Shah is alive or dead, he said the party has formed a team to investigate the issue and only that team will be authorised to speak on the issue in detail. But, he also said that the party’s investigation team also has no information about the person.

“We condemn the incident and assure that the party would take action against the accused .