Chilime in troubled waters

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    Chilime_phKathmandu, Aug. 24: The dispute over withdrawal of managing director of Chilime Hydro Power Project Kulman Ghising by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is getting embroiled in debates rather than getting an outlet.

    Losses of Rs. 7.7 million daily have been incurred as people are the divided over the issue. Four out of the five staff unions of the NEA are in favor of Ghising and the one closer of CPN-UML is in support of the NEA decision.

    Dispute would not have been so grave if Ghising who had completed four year term was withdrawn in a smooth manner by a meeting of the Chilime Board of Directors, but that did not happen.

    Chilime model is taken as a role model when NEA’s most projects had increased costs, and could not complete in time.

    The project identified in 2052 BS and started construction in Magh, 2053 BS is taken as a good example of public private partnership. But Energy Minister Radha Gyawali called him back without informing the board and the decision was disputed. Rasuwa people have not found a way how to move ahead the project in a smooth manner.

    Minister Gyawali has been urging not to affect the project in favor of NEA’s tenth level staff. She urged the staff unions and Rasuwa people not to put the project in anarchy by waging an unnecessary agitation. But they are not inclined to agree to her. The Chilime hydro project has now constructing the Mid-Bhotekoshi, Rasuwagadhi, Sanjen and Upper Sanjen. Their combined power generation capacity is 270 mw.

    NEA’s former board member Mohanraj Pant says there was interference in the project with an intention of making the Chilime and Upper Tamakoshi model which could make Nepal self reliant, unsuccessful.

    There has been unnecessary politics in Chilime to establish the fact that Nepalese can not make hydel projects and only foreigners can do it.

    Chilime generating 22 mw has given a ray of hope to the Nepalese people.  NEA had moved ahead the project after World Bank withdrew from the Arun Third project. Its shares in stock market are valued at Rs. 2449. The value of share which was per share  Rs.3,000 has come down and is decreasing day by day. NEA has sent different chairmen in all four projects.

    Earlier, only one person oversaw the overall management. Now the tradition has been ended. NEA has given the responsibility of deputy executive director to Ram Gopal Shiwakoti and other subsidiary projects have separate persons. The Rasuwa people are not in favor of agreeing to NEA decision, said Rasuwa’s former CA Member Prem Bahadur Tamang. ‘We can not accept a staff against the sentiments of the people putting Rasuwa people in terror, there is no alternate to reinstatement of Ghising as per the local’s needs and desire,’ he said.

    The Energy Ministry is not ready to correct its decision and NEA staff unions and Rasuwa people are taking the stance of correcting the decision immediately, which has made the episode more complex. NEA Employees’ Association Chairman Janardan Bhattarai said if all the four projects of Chilime are not completed, then the Energy Ministry and NEA should take its responsibility.

    NEA’s Nepal National Employees Organization and National Employees Organization of conspiracies to fail the Chilime model and if the decision is not corrected, they warned of agitation.

    On the other hand, NEA’s Employees’ Union Chairman Ram Prasad Rimal urges not to politicize the Chilime issue unnecessarily. Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and the Citizens’ Investment Trust (CIT) have invested in the projects under the Chilime.

    RSS