Sipring Khola Hydro offers 5pc shares to locals


    DOLAKHA, DEC 10 –

    Sipring Khola Hydroelectricity Project (SKHP), which currently under trial production, has decided to allot 5 percent share to the residents of local villages.

    The 10MW project has claimed that Gauri Shankar and Kharegaun VDCs will get around Rs 16 million annually in dividends after five years. The project has estimated to earn an annual profit of Rs 320 million five years after repaying loans to banks.

    “It is matter of happiness for the people to be able to receive such a large amount annually,” said VDC Secretary Samsher Karki, who was heading to the Company Registrar Office to receive a share certificate.

    Addressing a programme here on Thursday, the project’s managing director and Synergy Power Development’s chairman Bishnu Adhikari said the liability of providing shares free of cost to the locals would be borne by the company itself.

    SKHP’s move is believed to set an example for other projects operating in the district. There are five other hydro projects planning to start construction in the region. Upper Khani-Khola (50 MW), Khani-Khola (30 MW) and Mid Khani-Khola (24 MW) are in final construction stages. Two other projects are expected to be completed within the next three years.

    If all these projects are completed within the stipulated time there will be a total of 120MW of electricity generated from the region. And if all these projects also offer 5 percent share to locals, residents of Gauri Shankar, Khare, Marbu, Chankhu and Sura VDCs will be getting around Rs 200 million every year in dividends.

    Adhikari said they would pay off all their debt in the given time as the project cost was comparatively lower. According to him, they completed the project at Rs 130 million per unit. “That’s why we will be able to pay back bank loans within five years Adhikari said.”

    Earlier, the locals had demanded free shares instead of one percent (around Rs 13.2 million) in social development contribution from the hydro project. As per the law, the projects have to spend one percent of their earning compulsorily for social development.

    Following the agreement, the project spent Rs 1-1.5 million in social development and has converted the remaining amount into shares, said Balaram Thapa, a member of the stakeholders’ committee.

    The project has also agreed to sell additional 10 percent shares to the people from affected areas. Earlier, Upper Tamakoshi (456 MW) which is under construction in the region, had announced to sell 10 percent shares to locals.

    SKHP became ready to offer free shares to the locals following pressure from the local political parties and stakeholders’ committee. According to committee member Gokarna Joshi, the pressure worked in favour of the locals.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post