NEA invites agitating trade unions for talks

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    NEA_UnionKATHMANDU: Managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority, Rameshwor Yadav, has invited all five agitating NEA employees’ unions to take part in talks.
    According to NEA board member Manoj Mishra, the talks will take place at the Ministry of Energy at 2 pm on Saturday. The unions have been staging a protest demanding the revocation of May 31 decision to upgrade the capacity of the proposed 60-MW Upper Trishuli 3 A project to 90 MW.
    After the decision, MD Yadav stayed away from the NEA office at Ratnapark fearing attacks from trade unions.

    The National Employees’ Organisation, one of the trade unions involved in the protest, has padlocked the offices of MD Yadav, project site officer Gopal Babu Bhattarai and general manager (Generation and Construction) Ramchandra Pandey.

    The employees have been staging a pendown and barring board members from the central office, halting all work at the NEA central office save revenue collection.

    After receiving MD’s written invitation, president of the NEA Employees’ Union Ram Prasad Rimal said unions will hold a preparatory meeting tomorrow for Saturday’s dialogue.

    Rimal reiterated that they will seek withdrawal of the upgradation decision, which will cause huge losses to the NEA.

    However, president of the National Employees’ Union, Sitaram Thapa, expressed worry over the fate of the project.

    He said, “We are worried over the project’s fate, whether it’s 60 MW or 90 MW. If the situation continues, the project may get delayed for years.

    The energy shortfall arising from delays in the project’s completion will lead to import of generators and inverters.

    This will again put people on the receiving end,” added Thapa.

    Source : The Himalayan Times

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    Former ministers ask govt to halt upgrade

    KATHMANDU, June 6: Senior leaders representing major political parties except UCPN (Maoist) have urged the government to immediately withdraw the decision to upgrade the capacity of Upper Trishuli 3 ‘A’ Hydropower Project.
    Leaders, including central committee member of Nepali Congress (NC) Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, former energy minister and central committee member of NC Prakash Sharan Mahat, politburo members of CPN-UML Gokarna Bista and Surendra Pandey and senior leader of Rastriya Prajatantra Party Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani met the chairman of the interim election government Khil Raj Regmi at Singha Durbar on Thursday afternoon to exert pressure on the government to withdraw upgrade decision.                                     
    The leaders in a memorandum to Regmi have requested him to do the needful to stop implementation of the upgrade decision. The leaders have also said kickbacks were involved in the upgrade decision.
    Responding to the group of leaders, Regmi assured that the government would investigate if there had been financial irregularities in the run up to the upgrade decision. “I have already asked the concerned authorities to take necessary steps to investigate the issue and halt the upgrade if any irregularities are found,” Dr Mahat said quoting Regmi.
    In the six-point memorandum, the leaders have argued why the project should not be upgraded. “The project’s upgrade is not in the interest of the country,” reads the memorandum. “Upgrading the project’s capacity will further deepen the load-shedding problem in the country.”
    Upper Trishuli 3A is a run of the river project being developed by the Nepal Electricity Authority with China Gezhouba Group Company Limited as contractor. The Exim Bank of China has provided soft loan of US$ 89 million for the project.

    Source : Republica