Govt to scrap 600 survey license applications

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    Ministry of EnergyKATHMANDU, April 7: The government is preparing to scrap around 600 applications for survey licenses of hydropower projects as the applicants didn´t turn up to deposit the license fees even after the expiry of the government´s 35-day notice.

    “We have started the process to scrap the applications as the applicants didn´t turn up to pay the license fees,” said Gokarna Raj Pantha, senior divisional engineer at the Department of Electricity Development (DoED).

    The DoED had issued a notice around one-and-a-half month ago asking all the applicants to pay fees on time. “Only around five applicants paid the license fees on time,” said Pantha. “Similarly, around five applicants have moved the court after the government issued the notice.”

    According to Pantha, the applications for survey license had been received for all kinds of hydropower projects — small, medium and large scale. “We had received applications for survey licenses of big projects such as the 660 megawatts Kali Gandaki to small hydropower projects with less than 1 megawatt capacity,” said Pantha.
    DoED had issued the notice after the government increased application fees for all kinds of hydropower projects in October 2012. The government had increased the survey license fees aiming to check the practice among developers of holding survey licenses without working on the projects.

    Survey licenses for hydropower projects have been divided into six different categories. The new rates for survey licenses are: Rs 1 million for hydropower projects with 1 to 5 megawatts capacity, Rs 2 million for projects with 5 to 10 megawatts capacity, Rs 3 million for 10 to 25 megawatts projects, Rs 4 million for 25 to 100 megawatts projects, Rs 5 million for 100 to 500 megawatts projects and Rs 6 million for projects above 500 megawatts.

    However, Pantha clarified that the 600 applications may not belong to different projects. “There may be several applications for the same project,” he said.

    “There was a negative tendency among applicants of holding licenses as the fee was very nominal,” Pantha added. “The government has now taken a strong measure to discourage license holders with ulterior motives,” Pantha said.

    Source : Republica