The Supreme Court today gave the go ahead to the government to renew the licence of Nepal Water and Energy Development Company for the construction of Upper Trishuli I Hydro Project. Vacating the stay order issued on August 22, a division bench of Justices Ram Kumar Prasad Shah and Tarka Raj Bhatta said the company’s licence for the project could be renewed, as it found that the project would not have any adverse effect on the country and the general public.
Energy Secretary Hari Ram Koirala on June 29 had decided to scrap the licence of the 216-MW project owned by NWEDC in which 50 per cent shares are owned by Korea South East Power Company, 15 per cent by Daelim, 10 per cent by Kyeryong Construction and remaining 25 per cent by Bikesh Pradhananga. While scrapping the licence, the energy secretary had said the company had failed to meet the requirements laid down in the Electricity Act-1992.
The financial and infrastructure committee of the Cabinet on August 19 decided to re-award the licence to NWEDC and given 18 months to complete the tasks. Challenging the government move, a write petition was filed at the apex court in which petitioners Mithilesh Kumar Singh, Amarjivi Ghimire and Shambhu Prasad Dahal had said the government move was against Section 5 (1) of the Act, which says a licence ‘cannot be re-awarded to the same person or company once it is scrapped’. They had argued that the move was against Section 18 of Good Governance Act-2007.