NEA employees’ unions launch protest

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    KATHMANDU, JUN 03 –

    Trishuli_A_Bridge Protesting against the recent Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) decision to upgrade the capacity of Upper Trishuli 3 A Hydropower Project, four employees’ unions stageddemonstration s on the premises of NEA’s central office on Sunday, baring senior officials from entering the office.

    The unions said the move to upgrade the project’s capacity is guided by the “intention to obtain undue financial benefits”.

    An NEA Board meeting chaired by Energy Minister Umakan Jha on Friday decided to upgrade the project’s capacity from 60 MW to 90 MW.

    Under their first phase of protest, the unions—Nepal National Employees Association (NNEA), NEA Employees Council, NEA Employees Association and NEA Employees Unions—on Sunday prevented managing director, board members and executive directors of NEA from entering their offices.

    NEA Employees Union Chairman Ram Prashad Rimal said they did not allow any NEA vehicles from entering or going out of the office. “Almost 800 employees abandoned their work and participated in the sit-in from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm,” he said.

    An official of NEA Employees Council said in fear of facing the protesters, NEA Managing Director Rameshwor Yadav did not attend the office. “We also seized his vehicle from Gwarko and brought it to the central office,” he said, adding the unions will continue the protest until the NEA board terminates the decision. Rimal said the sit-in will continue through Tuesday. “If our demand is not addressed by Tuesday, we will introduce the second round of protest, which will be sterner,” Rimal.

    The trade unions had been warning the NEA management and the board to not increase the project’s capacity since beginning, saying doing so will do more harm than good to the country. “The project contract had been awarded under the Engineering, Procurement and Constructing (EPC) model for the first time in Nepal, according to which the construction and cost of the project cannot be revised,” read a joint statement issued on Saturday.

    The NEA board on Saturday had published a notice in national daily newspapers with justification for the upgradation of the project’s capacity.

    Meanwhile, a high-level NEA official said the management committee and the board had taken the decision one-sidedly. “So much so that the NEA officials do not even know who and how the noticed was published.”

    Source : The Kathmandu Post

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    Trishuli upgradation sparks protest

    KATHMANDU: Five trade unions today staged a pendown at the central office of the Nepal Electricity Authority against the upgradation of the Upper Trishuli 3A project, saying that NEA board’s Friday move to increase the project capacity from 60 MW to 90 MW will cause the state power monopoly huge losses.

    The unions hoisted black flags on the office premises and barred the movement of NEA vehicles, saying the decision is a reward for the contractor, who has been cheating the monopoly by delaying the project. They criticised the move to pay the contractor an additional sum of $21 million in the name of the upgradation.

    General-secretary of the NEA Employees’ Union, Rameshwor Paudel, said their protest will continue until the board withdraws the decision. “The decision has ignored the findings of a study report that Moti Bahadur Kunwar, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Energy, had prepared.”

    The report, according to Poudel, had pointed that upgradation makes no sense as power generation will not increase during the dry season, when the power crisis aggravates.

    The protesters also seized the vehicle of NEA Managing Director Rameswhor Yadav, who chose to remain at the energy ministry to avoid the protest.

    The agitated employees have decided to bar board members from the NEA premises for the next two days.

    The protesting unions include NEA Employees’ Union, Employees’ Organisation, Employees’ Welfare Council and Nepal National Employees’ Organisation. NEA National Employees’ Organisation, which has also joined the protest, has sought action against those board members involved in adding the variation clause to the EPC model while awarding the tender to a Chinese firm. In 2011, the NEA board under then Energy Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat had awarded the tender. Hours before Friday’s upgradation move, all five unions at the NEA had urged chairman of the Interim Council of Ministers, Khil Raj Regmi, to direct ministers and others to not go for project upgradation.

    The unions have said they will not let the NEA make payments for Saturday’s notice printed in almost all national dailies, saying the utility had played with facts to win people’s support for upgradation.

    Member of the presidium of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Prakash Chandra Lohani, opposed the capacity increase and demanded withdrawal of the decision. Speaking at a press meet today, Lohani termed the decision a ‘rampant loot’. Former Energy Minister Mahat also opposed the decision. In January, former energy ministers and finance ministers
    had urged President Ram Baran Yadav and then Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai not to go for upgradation.

    Source : The Himalayan Times

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    विद्युत्का कर्मचारी आन्दोलनमा

    काठमाडौं, १९ जेठ
    माथिल्लो त्रिशूली ३ ‘ए’ जलविद्युत् आयोजनालाई थप ३५ महिना ढिला गरेर नेपाल विद्युत् प्राधिकरणलाई १५ अर्ब घाटा पुर्‍याउन खोजिएकोमा प्राधिकरणका कर्मचारी आन्दोलनमा उत्रिएका छन् । ट्रेड युनियनले पहिलो चरणको आन्दोलनअन्तर्गत आइतबारदेखि विद्युत् प्राधिकरणका सम्पूर्ण गाडी सञ्चालनमा रोक लगाएको छ ।
    ठेक्का सम्झौताअनुसार आयोजना सकिन एक वर्षमात्र बाँकी रहेको वेला क्षमता वृद्धि गरेर ३५ महिना म्याद थप गरी ठेक्का सम्झौता गर्ने निर्णय गरेको थियो । आयोजना तीन वर्ष ढिला हुँदा विद्युत् प्राधिकरणले वार्षिक ४६ करोड ३७ लाख युनिटका दरले तीन वर्षको एक अर्ब ३९ करोड युनिट अर्थात् करिब १२ अर्ब रुपैयाँ क्षति भोग्नुपर्नेछ । त्यस्तै ९० मेगावाटको आयोजना बनाउन ठेकेदारले सुरुमा प्रस्ताव गरेकोभन्दा तीन अर्ब ८५ करोड ३८ लाख बढी रुपैयाँमा प्राधिकरणले ठेक्का दिन थालेको छ ।
    प्राधिकरणलाई जानाजान घाटामा लग्ने यो निर्णयविरुद्ध कर्मचारी संघ, युनियन, नेपाल राष्ट्रिय कर्मचारी संगठन र कर्मचारी परिषद् आन्दोलित भएका हुन् । उनीहरूले कार्यकारी निर्देशक र सञ्चालकलाई कार्यालय प्रवेशमा रोक लगाएका छन् । आन्दोलनका कारण कार्यकारी निर्देशक रामेश्वर यादवले ऊर्जा मन्त्रालयबाट कार्यालय सञ्चालन गर्न थालेका छन् । ‘कर्मचारीले आफ्नो धर्म निर्वाह गरेका हुन्, केही दिनपछि उनीहरू आन्दोलनबाट फिर्ता हुन्छन्,’ यादवले भने ।
    कर्मचारीले भने निर्णय फिर्ता नलिए विद्युत्गृह बन्द गर्नेसम्मका आन्दोलन गर्ने चेतावनी दिएका छन् । उनीहरू रत्नपार्कमा रहेको प्राधिकरण केन्द्रीय कार्यालयका बिहान १० बजेदेखि दिउँसो एक बजेसम्म नाराबाजीसहित धर्नामा बसेका थिए ।
    ‘नेपालमै पहिलोपटक आयोजनाको लागत र समय बढाउन नपाइने गरी इपिसी मोडलमा ठेक्का सम्झौता भई करिब ३५ देखि ४० प्रतिशत काम सम्पन्न भइसकेको अवस्थामा क्षमता परिवर्तन गर्नु भनेको ठूलो आर्थिक चलखेल गरी मुलुक र जनतामाथिको डकैत हो,’ ट्रेड युनियले आरोप लगाएका छन् । क्षमता बढाउने निर्णय मुलुक, प्राधिकरण, मुलुकको विद्युत् विकास र नेपाली जनताको हितमा नहुने उनीहरूले बताएका छन् ।
    उनीहरूले ठेकेदारलाई कारबाही गर्न पनि माग गरेका छन् । ‘ठेकेदारले ठेक्का प्रस्ताव गर्दा ६० मेगावाटका लागि ८ करोड ९१ लाख अमेरिकी डलर र ९० मेगावाट बनाउने अवस्थामा ११ करोड १४ लाख ७० हजारमा बनाउने प्रतिबद्धता जनाएको थियो, तर ६० मेगावाटको आयोजना समयमा नबनाउने ठेकेदारलाई समय अवधि सकिएपछि कारबाही गर्नुपर्नेमा सम्झौता तोडेर सोही ठेकेदारलाई १३ करोड २० लाख डलर डलरमा ठेक्का दिने अधिकार सञ्चालक समितिलाई कुनै कानुनले दिएको छैन,’ कर्मचारीले जारी गरेको विज्ञप्तिमा भनिएका छ, ‘यो निर्णय आयोजना ढिला हुनुका साथै संस्था ध्वस्त बनाएर व्यक्ति धनी हुनका लागि गरिएको स्पष्ट भएको छ ।’ उनीहरूले पहिलो चरणको आन्दोलन २१ जेठसम्म जारी रहने बताएका छन् ।

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