Start work on Upper Karnali: Locals

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    karnaliSURKHET: Local stakeholders have demanded that the government and the Indian Construction Company initiate construction work at Upper Karnali Hydro Project at the earliest.

    Locals accused the company and the government of being apathetic about beginning the project work though the Supreme Court on Sunday issued a verdict not to halt construction after conducting a hearing on a writ seeking cancellation of the agreement on Upper Karnali.

    Upper Karnali Hydro Project Concern Coordination Committee Coordinator Bam Bahadur BC warned of agitation if work did not start immediately. He accused the government and construction company of delaying construction under the pressure of a few persons.

    He called on the government to create conducive environment for construction to begin. BC also asked the government to strike an agreement to provide energy for free instead of 27 per cent share sans investment for Nepal.

    Likewise, locals have demanded that they be allowed to use electricity from the project site. They have also demanded professional training for manpower necessary for the project. BC urged opponents of the project not to protest.

    He added that construction of Upper Karnali by an Indian Company would not sap nationalism.

    For construction of the 900MW project, the then government had selected a consortium comprising GMR Energy, GMR Infrastructure and Thai-Italian Development Project and reached agreement with them in January 2008.

    According to the contracting company, the entire survey of the project will affect six VDCs of Dailekh and three each of Achham and Surkhet, has been completed.

    Only Project Development Agreement (PDA) is left for the project estimated to cost around Rs 1,220 billion rupees.

    Source : The Himalayan Times