CIAA asks MoE to decide fate of 500 hydro projects


    CIAAKATHMANDU Dec 30: Expressing concern over the indecision of the Department of Electricity Development (DoED) over issuance of survey and generation licenses for some 500 hydropower projects, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has asked the Ministry of Energy (MoE) to take the decisions in this connection within a month.

    Issuing a press statement Monday, the CIAA said that those projects have been on hold since 2004 after the project developers filed applications at the DoED for survey and generation licenses.

    Acting on dozens of complaints filed with it over the DoED indecision, the CIAA asked MoE to decide within 30 days whether to grant the licenses or not.

    The anti-graft constitutional watchdog directed MoE in writing on Monday to take the decisions and duly inform it.

    According to the Electricity Act 1992, DoED should issue survey licenses to hydropower companies within 30 days and power generation licenses within 120 days of application.

    The CIAA has also asked the ministry to bring all the scrapped hydropower licenses into one basket and issue such licenses only to capable and efficient developers through open competition, after setting out the standards.

    Earlier, on September 5, the CIAA had directed MoE to scrap the power generation licenses of 14 hydropower projects, including Kabeli A.

    Also on September 5, the CIAA had directed the energy ministry to scrap the survey licenses of the Bhotekoshi-5 (60 MW), Buku Khola (6 MW), Kabeli-A (37.6 MW), Lower Balefi (20 MW), Upper Ingwakhola (9.7 MW) and Karuwa Khola (36 MW) and Balefi-B hydropower projects.

    Similarly, it had directed the ministry to scrap the power generation licenses of Lower Arun (400 MW), Chaharekhola (17.5 MW), Upper Mailung Khola (14.3 MW), Upper Solu Khola Sano (18 MW), Midim Khola (3.4 MW), Upper Khoranga Khola HPP (6.8 MW) and Lower Indrawati (4.5 MW).

    Following the CIAA´s directions to the ministry, Parliament´s Finance Committee and the Agriculture and Water Resources Commottee (AWRC) had raised questions over the CIAA´s jurisdiction. However, on Dec 17, the AWRC cleared the controversy surrounding the 14 hydropower projects and directed MoE to decide the fate of those projects on its own.

    Source : Republica