Parties’ incredible hydro power promises

KATHMANDU:

Politics_HydroEnergy, in particular, hydro power development figures prominently in the manifestos of the three major parties — UCPN-M, NC and UML.

Realisation has dawned among the parties that the nation-building process will not move forward unless the country generates enough energy to drive its economy.

UCPN-M and NC have vowed to end load-shedding in three years, while UML says it will eliminate the problem in five years by giving more incentives to the private sector at home and attracting foreign investment in the energy sector.

The most incredible promise of all comes from UCPN-M. The party has promised to generate 10, 000 MW in ten years, 25, 000 MW in 25 years and 45, 000 MW in 40 years. It has even categorised the hydro power projects — 30 per cent reservoir-based and 70 per cent run-of-river type. It has also pledged electricity for all villages in ten years and promised 10 per cent share of a project’s total investment to the local population. NC and UML have also promised shares.

The UML has committed to provide access to electricity to all households; free electricity for poor families; and free electricity for poor farmers for agriculture purposes. It has also proposed formulating a national policy on energy on consensus basis.

UML has said the government will fund construction of transmission lines and reservoir-based projects; adopt public-private partnership policy for energy development, and expand the market for multi-sector benefits. Its manifesto also mentions building transnational transmission lines to boost economy of both countries, Nepal and India.

The NC manifesto speaks of generating surplus energy and exporting it to neighbouring countries so that earnings from energy export can become a major source of foreign currency. NC has not only promised 5,000 MW in five years but also proposed building three major transnational transmission lines on the corridors of Karnali, Gandaki and Koshi rivers.

The parties have promised to develop the energy sector through foreign investment by creating investment-friendly environment.

Although they have talked much about foreign direct investment, they have not touched upon domestic resources mobilisation. For instance, they have not spent even a single word on utilising remittance, which exceeds the country’s annual budget, on the energy sector.

Source : The Himalayan Times