Former water ministers, secys express reservations about Upper Karnali PDA

- Post Report, KATHMANDU

Sep 19, 2014-

Senior UCPN (Maoist) leaders, former ministers for water resources and ministry secretaries have expressed serious reservation over project development agreement (PDA) of Upper Karnali Hydropower Project that was approved by the Cabinet on Thursday evening.

During a meeting held among the leaders of three major political parties at the PMO, Singha Durbar on Thursday afternoon, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal including senior party leaders, Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha urged the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-UML not to approve the PDA “in a hurry” and left the meeting putting forth their serious reservations over the same.

In the meeting that was held before the Cabinet meeting, Maoist leaders said that signing the PDA with India’s GMR-ITD Consortium will “kill the prospect” of developing 4,180 MW reservoir projects at the upstream of Upper Karnali Project.

“By allowing to develop 900 MW project to GMR 3-km downstream from the earlier proposed site will killed the prospect of developing another mega project in Upper Karnali watershed,” said Maoist leader Shrestha.

The Maoist leaders also have reservation over the cost of the project. Issues like price escalation and force majeure are against the initial MoU signed between the Nepal government and GMR in 2008, they said during the meeting. “We have serious reservation over the deal. We will not accept it,” said Dahal during the meeting.

The party also opposed the clause of force majeure which they claim has put more liability on the part of Nepal government.    

Later in the evening, a meeting of former water resources ministers and secretaries in New Baneshwor decided to oppose the PDA deal “in an institutional manner”.

Laxman Ghimire from NC, Bhim Rawal from CPN-UML, Shrestha and Lila Mani Pokhrel from UCPN (Maoist), Prakash Chandra Lohani and former water resources secretaries Dwarika Nath Dhungel, Som Nath Subedi, Shital Babu Regmi agreed to form a National Coalition for Natural Resources. 

Published: 19-09-2014 10:21

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