KATHMANDU, Dec 15
Leaders of ruling Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML, opposing UCPN (Maoist) and other parties have obstructed construction of Mid Bhotekoshi putting demands like making them sub-contractor, procuring all construction materials on the basis of consensus among parties, buying petroleum products only from the place fixed by the political parties, jobs and others. Local political cadres had vandalized a petrol tanker of the project a few days ago. The project looks set to be stalled due to political interference and delay in its construction will affect local investment.
Mid Bhotekoshi Hydropower Company Limited and Chinese contractor Guangxi Hydro Electric Construction Bureau of China had signed agreement for civil construction over a year ago. The contractor has not been able to work due to repeated obstructions. The Chinese contractor has urged Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and the Chinese Embassy in Nepal to facilitate for an environment to work. But the government has not taken any initiative for resumption of construction. The line ministry, Energy Ministry, has not paid attention to end obstruction.
Local cadres have been obstructing projects putting different demands even as the main political parties have expressed commitment to not obstruct construction of any hydropower projects. Upper Bhotekoshi has been shut down for over four months demanding shares. Obstruction has yet to end even after the project has already agreed to provide five percent shares at Rs 100 each.
Administrative Officer of Chilime Hydropower Company, the promoter of Mid Bhotekoshi, Ram Gopali Shiwakoti says the project will be delayed by a year due to political obstruction. “Cost of the project can also rise if there is delay in work. But we cannot say by how much cost will rise now,” he adds. Work of the project had started aiming to start generation from August, 2017. Construction work should have started last year as per the working schedule. The estimated project cost is Rs 14 billion. The Employees Provident Fund (EPF), locals and commoners will invest in the project. All investors will be affected by delay in construction. The project will generate 542.20 million units of electricity a year. Lahmeyer International of Germany is doing supervisory work for the project.
Chilime Hydropower has 38 percent stake in the project, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) 10 percent, locals 10 percent, EPF 19.5 percent, and commoners 15 percent apart from other local companies.
Source : Karobar Daily