‘Next Cabinet meeting to decide further on Budhi Gandaki project’

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Energy Minister Kamal Thapa claims the next Cabinet meeting will take a concrete decision

Nov 15, 2017-A day after the government cancelled an agreement signed with a Chinese company to build the 1,200-megawatt Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project, the Energy Ministry is weighing two options to ensure timely completion of the project. A new proposal is expected to be presented to the next Cabinet meeting.

With the contract with the Chinese company having been cancelled, the future of the project hangs in the balance. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy Kamal Thapa, however, claimed that the next Cabinet meeting would take a concrete decision on the largest storage hydel project in the country.

“I called a meeting of the authorities concerned on Tuesday to discuss the project’s future course,” said DPM Thapa. “We’ll come up with an alternative for carrying out this national pride project soon.”

The government on Monday scrapped the contract of the 1200MW project awarded to the China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) “based on the directives of the parliamentary panels”, which are now dissolved.

Thapa said he had instructed officials to award the contract in a transparent way by following a competitive bidding process. 

“We are discussing two options. Either it should be built with our own resources or we would go for a competitive global bidding process,” he told the Post.

DPM Thapa instructed officials to chart out a clear policy on the project, modality of construction and other necessary plans for its timely completion.

A Cabinet meeting in May had decided to award the contract to build the project located in Gorkha and Dhading districts. In June, then energy minister Janardan Sharma and CGGC President Lv Zexiang signed a memorandum of understanding to build the project under the engineering, procurement, construction and finance model.

Around four months after signing the MoU, a joint meeting of the Agriculture and Water Resources Committee and Finance Committee of Parliament had directed the government to scrap the agreement stating that the decision to hand over the project went against the Public Procurement Act.

Published: 15-11-2017 08:24

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