RECONSTRUCTION, ENERGY TO BE PRIORITIZED

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    Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli has expressed commitments to expedite reconstruction and resolve energy crisis in 2073. Addressing the nation on Tuesday, in what seemed like announcement of the government’s policies and programs, he promised to inject pace in energy, roads, railway, airports, and other big and strategically important projects.

    He conceded that post-earthquake reconstruction could not gather pace. “There was some delay as many things had to be done simultaneously. Reconstruction will now be expedited,” he added. He tried to defend the government by saying it took time to start construction of around 800,000 individual homes and other public structures. “Reconstruction cannot be completed in an instant. We have, therefore, prepared a five-year plan for reconstruction,” he argued. He revealed plan of completing construction of private residences within the year 2073 (ending in mid-April 2017) by starting distribution of government grant to victims in the 11 districts hit hard by the earthquake from April 25.

    He said the government will make arrangements for collective accommodation of the victims during the upcoming monsoon as the houses cannot be reconstructed immediately. He added that survey in the three districts in Kathmandu Valley, and reconstruction of the public buildings housing the offices of president, vice president, PM, Supreme Court, Election Commission and others will be started immediately.

    He pointed that the 10-year energy development concept paper has been brought for long-term resolution of the deepening energy crisis that has been ravaging all the sectors. “The government has already started work to resolve the crisis. We will significantly reduce load-shedding by importing 600 MW in 2073 and completely end it by the end of 2074,” he claimed. He said construction of the Upper Tamakoshi hydro electricity project will be expedited and that of the hydro projects with foreign investment such as Pancheshower, Uppar Karnali and Arun III will be prioritized.

    He talked about his plan of investing the remittance income sent by Nepalis working abroad in hydropower sector. “Hydropower projects will be developed with people’s investment to bridge the gulf between rich and poor,” he stated. He also revealed plan of increasing agricultural production by completing big irrigation projects like Sunkoshi-Kamala-Bagmati, Kaligandaki-Tinau and others to irrigate the arable land in tarai.

    He said the government is committed to building the second international airport in Nijgadh, and regional international airports at Bhairahawa and Pokhara to develop the aviation sector. “The Transit Treaty with China has ended dependence on a single country. The door to connect with other countries by the land and expanding trade has been opened,” he opined.

    Stating that preparation for the budget for upcoming fiscal year has started, he said the budget will come by the end of May from now onward. He claimed that 138 bills, out of the 193 that had to amended or formulated after promulgation of the new constitution, will be passed within the next fiscal year.

    Source : Karobar daily