Upper Tamakoshi Work Halted Again

Access Tunnel Under-construction

DOLAKHA, March 28: Construction of Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project is still stalled after workers rejected the recent agreement to stop the two-week protest at the project.

Work has yet to resume for the 16th day due to political division among the workers who returned back after reaching agreement with the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited (UTKHPL) on Wednesday to immediately resume work. Trade unions affiliated to Nepali Congress (NC) and different Maoist parties have stopped work stating that the UTKHPL has humiliated them by holding dialogue only with trade union leaders affiliated to CPN-UML.

Civil construction work has resumed only under Sino Hydro Bureau 6—that is constructing power house and tailrace—while workers of Bureau 11—that is constructing headworks, main tunnel and vertical tunnel—have yet to return to work. Bureau 11 has been doing the largest proportion of work and has also employed the largest number of workers.

Coordinator of the joint movement struggle committee Roshan Khadka said the UTKHPL management has yet to resume dialogue process even though their strike continues. A task force was set to be formed within seven days in agreement of both the sides. UTKHPL Spokesperson Dr Ganesh Neupane said the task force will submit report—that will address demands of the workers—within 30 days. The task force will include experts and determine the standards for share distribution with agreement of both the sides.

Board member of the UTKHPL Sher Singh Bhat, project chief Bigyan Prasad Shrestha and spokesperson Neupane had signed on the agreement on the company’s behalf while President of the Central Union of Painters, Plumbers, Electro and Construction Workers (CUPPEC) Nepal Naranath Luitel, Dolakha President of the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT) Mahendra Puri and President of the Sino Hydro unit of CUPPEC Sonam Dorje Sherpa had signed on behalf of workers.

Lawmaker Parbat Gurung, meanwhile, said construction of the national pride project should not be stopped in any pretext. Stating that it is the duty of contractor to do construction work, he added that the contractor must look for other workers if the current ones do not return to work. “We should not create a wrong precedent when the workers working for the contractor are unnecessarily demanding shares for the company. Shares should not be provided to the workers at any cost,” he opined.

Source : Karobar Daily