Locals complain of irregularities in Upper Tamakoshi

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    DOLAKHA, July 2:

    upper_tamakoshi_PHLocals of Dolakha on Tuesday headed for the capital to draw the attention of the government toward alleged irregularities in the 456 megawatts Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project.
    The locals of Lamabagar VDC in Dolakha said they would ask the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Department of Electricity Development (DoED) and Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to launch an investigation into alleged irregularities.

    The estimated cost of the hydropower project being developed by the government is Rs 35 billion and is expected to start generating electricity by 2015.
    According to the locals, the project officials have been using low-standard construction materials in civil construction of the hydropower project. They have also accused the project officials of embezzling millions of rupees meant for the local development.

    “We kept silent as the mega project is being developed through domestic investment. But we cannot tolerate irregularities,” said Puspa Raj Basnet, a civil rights activist, who is also visiting the capital as a local representative.

    Before heading for the capital, the team had organized a press meet in Charikot, the district headquarters. Speaking at the press meet, the locals demanded the details of Rs 140 million spent by the project as part of its social responsibility.

    “No public hearing has been conducted to make the details of such expenses public,” said Datha Ram Nepal, another local.
    Likewise, another local, Anil KC accused Tamakoshi officials of embezzlement.

    In addition, the project-displaced locals in Chootchoot village are yet to be compensated for their land acquisitioned by the project.
    “Due to use of sub-standard materials, the 16m tunnel of the project has already developed cracks,” said KC.

    Last Friday, CIAA had begun investigating two project officials – acting chief of the project Bigyan Prasad Shrestha and engineer Bimal Gurung — for amassing properties disproportionate to their income source. However, both of the officials have denied the allegations.

    Source : Republica