India inquires with Nepal Electricity Authority about Solu Corridor Transmission Line scam

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    India’s Ministry of External Affairs and Indian Exim Bank, one of the investors in the Solu Corridor Transmission Line project, have inquired about shady dealings on the part of Nepal Electricity Authority and Mohan Energy, the contractor tasked with project construction.

    A source said the ministry and the bank have received a complaint about documents that the energy company showed while trying to bag the contract for the lucrative project. On the basis of this complaint, the Indian ministry and the bank inquired with the NEA about the whole affair.

    High NEA officials face charges of embezzling more than Rs 260 million by awarding the construction contract to the energy company. This issue had forced then Energy Minister Radha Gyawali to put in papers.

    Then Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha had issued a ruling absolving Gyawali and other officials of wrongdoing in the Mohan Energy case. NEA has taken this as a clean chit from the SC on the Solu project.

    The Solu project, under construction with line of credit from the Indian bank, has been courting controversies for quite some time.

    A party to the Solu dispute says a joint venture of India’s Jaguar International and BS was denied the contract in a conspiratorial manner. Mohan bagged the contract, though it was the second lowest bidder. After Mohan bagged the contract, it came to light that the company had presented fake papers.

    In this context, a report of the ministry, which covers India-assited projects in Nepal, points that the ministry has sought clarification from the NEA about the Mohan controversy. Citing the SC ruling, the state-run power monopoly has replied that there was no irregularity in the evaluation of tender bids for the Solu project.

    Source : Online Khabar