Upper Trishuli 3A Upgradation: Cabinet decision challenged in Supreme Court

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    KATHMANDU, JAN 08 –

    The government’s controversial decision to upgrade the Upper Trishuli 3A project has been challenged in the court. Advocate Loknath Chapagain has filed a writ against the Cabinet decision to upgrade project to 90MW from 60MW.

    Plaintiff Chapagain has sought annulment of the Cabinet decision and necessary orders. Stating that the capacity upgradation would cause a huge loss to the Nepal Electricity Authority, he has also sought a stay order against the Cabinet decision.

    Chapagain has argued that the decision to award the contract to a Chinese firm — China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd — without competition is against the Public Procurement Act.

    The litigant has also said that any such upgradation should not exceed 15 percent of the existing capacity as per the Act.  He has argued that the group of experts that gave a go ahead for the project upgradation comprised of non-hydro experts.

    The Prime Minister Office, Energy Ministry, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower Project and China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd have been made defendants.

    Despite strong opposition, a Cabinet meeting on Thursday had endorsed the MoE’s proposal of upgrading the project’s capacity. Both PM Baburam Bhattarai and Energy Secretary Hari Ram Koirala had been making efforts to upgrade the project’s capacity as per the interest of the Chinese contractor.

    Three weeks ago, the MoE had decided to upgrade the project through a ministry-level decision despite PM Bhattarai assuring former finance and energy ministers that he would take a decision with their consensus. PM Bhattarai is also looking after the energy portfolio.

    The Chinese contractor had long been demanding the project upgradation. After its plan to upgrade the project’s capacity was denied twice by the NEA board, the ministry had tabled its proposal to the Cabinet in mid-December.

    The contractor had signed an agreement with NEA in May 2010, in which it had committed to complete the project (then 60 MW) by May 2014. With the capacity expansion, the project is pushed back by three years. The upgradation will also require an additional investment of Rs 4 billion. According to the NEA, the Chinese contractor has already increased the cost for the upgradation. The company, which had initially quoted Rs 2 billion, has now doubled the cost to Rs 4 billion.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post

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    त्रिशूली ३ ‘ए’ को क्षमता बढाउने निर्णयविरुद्ध रिट

    – सार्वजनिक खरिद ऐनविपरीत भएको जिकिर

    काठमाडौं, २३ पुस – माथिल्लो त्रिशूली- ३ ‘ए’ जलविद्युत् आयोजनाको क्षमता बढाउने सरकारको निर्णय सार्वजनिक खरिद ऐन २०६३ विपरीत भएको भन्दै खारेजको मागसहित सर्वोच्च अदालतमा रिट परेको छ ।
    सार्वजनिक सरोकारको विषय भन्दै अधिवक्ता लोकनाथ चापागाईले सोमबार रिट दायर गरेका हुन् । उनले आयोजनाको क्षमता बढाउने निर्णय तत्काल कार्यान्वयन नगराउन र सम्झौताबमोजिम समयमै आयोजना सम्पन्न गर्न अन्तरिम आदेशसँगै उत्प्रेषणको परमादेश जारी गरी बदरको माग गरेका छन् । बिहीबारको मन्त्रिपरिषद् बैठकले आयोजनाको क्षमता ६० बाट बढाएर ९० मेगावाट पु¥याउने निर्णय गरेको थियो ।
    रिटमा मन्त्रिपरिषद्, प्रधानमन्त्री बाबुराम भट्टराई, प्रधानमन्त्रीको कार्यालय, विद्युत् प्राधिकरण, त्रिशूली– ३ जलविद्युत् आयोजना र ठेकेदार चाइना गेजुवा ग्रुप कम्पनी लिमिटेडलाई विपक्षी बनाइएको छ ।
    खरिद ऐनको दफा ५३ मा कामको आधारभूत प्रकृति वा क्षेत्र परिवर्तन गर्न खरिद सम्झौतामा संशोधन हुन नसक्ने प्रावधानलाई सरकारले मिचेर निर्णय गरेको रिटमा उल्लेख छ । क्षमता बढाउँदा आर्थिक चलखेल भएको दाबीसमेत रिटमा गरिएको छ ।
    क्षमता बढाएपछि आयोजना तीन वर्ष पछाडि धकेलिनुका साथै प्राधिकरणलाई १ अर्ब ३९ करोड युनिट बिजुली बिक्रीबाट प्राप्त हुने अर्बौं रुपैयाँ आम्दानी गुम्ने रिटमा छ । क्षमता बढाएपछि पनि सुख्खायाममा ऊर्जा नबढ्ने भन्दै वर्षामा मात्र बिजुली बढ््ने आधारमा क्षमता बढाउनु गैरकानुनी हुने दाबी गरिएको छ ।
    ठेक्का सम्झौता सम्पन्न हुन १६ महिना बाँकी रहँदै सरकारले गरेको यो निर्णयले प्राधिकरणलाई करिब ११ अर्ब रुपैयाँ नोक्सान हुने जिकिर रिटमा छ । निर्माणाधीन जलविद्युत् आयोजनाहरू निर्धारित समयमा सम्पन्न भए वर्षात्मा सन् २०१७ देखि वार्षिक ३ अर्ब युनिट बिजुली खेर जाने दाबी गरिएको छ ।
    यसअघिका ऊर्जामन्त्रीहरूले क्षमता वृद्धि गर्ने प्रस्ताव अस्वीकार गरिसकेको अवस्थामा सम्झौता रकमभन्दा ४ अर्ब रुपैयाँ बढ्ने निर्णय गैरकानुनी भएको चापागाईंको जिकिर छ । आयोजना क्षमता बढाए पनि प्राधिकरणले आवश्यक थप रकमको व्यवस्था गरेको छैन ।
    आयोजनाको क्षमता बढाउन २०६८ वैशाख २ गते प्रबन्धक मोहनरत्न शाक्य र गत जेठ ३० मा निर्देशक सुवास दाहालको संयोजकत्वमा गठित प्राविधिक अध्ययन समितिले प्राधिकरणलाई थप आर्थिक दायित्व बढ्नुका साथै कानुनी जटिलताले क्षमता बढाउन नसकिने सुझाएको थियो ।
    प्राधिकरण र चाइना गेजुवाबीच दुई वर्षअघि (२८ मे, २०१०) मा इन्जिनियरिङ प्रोक्युरमेन्ट कन्ट्र्याक्ट (ईपीसी) प्रारूपमा ६० मेगावाट जडित क्षमतामा आयोजना बनाउने सम्झौता भएको थियो । चाइना गेजुवाले २०११ जुनदेखि मात्र आयोजना निर्माण थालेको हो ।
    काम सुरु गरेको ३५ महिनाभित्र आयोजना सम्पन्न हुनुपर्ने सम्झौतामा उल्लेख छ । गेजुवाले काम सुरु गरेको १९ महिनापछि सरकारले पुस १९ गते क्षमता बढाउने विवादास्पद निर्णय गरेको हो । हालसम्म आयोजनाको २२ प्रतिशतमात्र काम सकिएको छ । मूल्य अभिवृद्धि कर (भ्याट)सहित करिब ८ अर्ब ११ करोड रुपैयाँमा प्रसारणलाइनबाहेक आयोजना निर्माण गर्ने सम्झौता छ ।
    प्राधिकरणका पूर्वसञ्चालक तथा जलस्रोतविद् कृष्णप्रसाद दुलालले क्षमता बढाउने सरकारको निर्णय गैरकानुनी हुनुका साथै थप आर्थिक भार थपेर प्राधिकरणलाई डुबाउने खेल भएको टिप्पणी गरे । “८ करोड ९० लाख अमेरिकी डलरमा ६० मेगावाटलाई ठेक्का सम्झौता भएकोमा क्षमता बढाएर ९० मेगावाट पु¥याएपछि लागत पनि बढेर १३ करोड २० लाख डलर अर्थात् डेढ गुणा बढी हुनेछ,” कारोबारसँग कुरा गर्दै उनले भने ।
    ठेकेदारले ६० मेगावाटको लागत प्रस्ताव गर्दा समग्रमा २० प्रतिशत छुट दिई ८ करोड ९० लाख अमरिकी डलरमा सम्झौता गरेकोमा अहिले ९० मेगावाटलाई उसैले प्रस्ताव गरेको रकममा छुट नदिइएको दुलालले बताए । क्षमता बढाउँदा आयोजना अन्योलमा पर्ने उनको भनाइ छ ।

    प्रस्तुति :कारोबार

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    Decision to upgrade capacity of Upper Trishuli 3A challenged in court

    KATHMANDU, Jan. 7 — A writ petition was filed at the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday challenging the government’s recent decision to upgrade the capacity of the 60-megawatt Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower Project to 90 megawatts.

    Advocate Lokanath Chapagain moved the apex court, arguing that the government’s decision is against the existing Public Procurement Act. The petitioner has urged the SC to stay the government’s decision for the time being and to finally scrap the decision.

    The petitioner has claimed that the upgradation will add unnecessary financial burden on the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and will take three more years for the completion of the project.

    Despite strong objection from the opposition parties and hydropower experts, the cabinet meeting on Thursday had decided to upgrade the project’s capacity.

    The run-of-the-river project is being developed by a Chinese contractor, China Gezhouba group Co, with a US$ 89 million soft loan from the Exim Bank of China. The project will not help reduce the load-shedding during the dry season as it will produce extra energy only during the wet season.

    Though the contractor had initially agreed to develop 90 MW for $111 million, the government has now agreed to spend $132 million for the same capacity. The government had awarded the project to the Chinese contractor to develop 60 MW at $89 million.

    The board of directors of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) had twice rejected the upgradation plan forwarded by the government. Following rejection from the board, the Ministry of Energy (MoE) had forwarded the proposal to the cabinet by bypassing the NEA board.

    Prime Minister Bhattarai, the prime minister’s office, MoE, NEA and China Gezhouba Group Co, among others have been made defendants in the writ.

    Source :The Republica