KATHMANDU, June 19: The government's attention has been drawn towards the immediate implementation of the Budhi Gandaki and West Seti big and multipurpose hydropower projects. The pair projects are listed on the government's 'project of national pride'.
The 750-megawatt West Seti has been in limbo for long. No decision is taken yet to determine the model of the project after the China Three Georges Corporation left the project. At present, the Investment Board is coordinating the project. Earlier, the Board had formed a task force comprising Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barshaman Pun; Finance Minister Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada and Board Chief Executive Officer Maha Prasad Adhikari to determine the appropriate model of the project.
Though the task force has already prepared a report, the decision in the regard is awaited. In a meeting of the House of Representatives today, Nepal Communist Party (NCP)'s lawmaker Prem Bahadur Ale sought the implementation of the project without any delay. "It plays a significant role in the economic progress of the State 5 and Far-West State."
He also took time to draw the government's attention towards stalled progress of the Budhi Gandaki Hydro Power Project. He demanded the government immediately ensure the distribution of compensation to take it into the implementation phase which would, according to him, cause a positive impact on the nation's economy. Satya Narayan Khanal expressed his concern that less budget was allocated for the Budhigandaki Multi-Purpose Project. He accused the government of delaying to implement the project, though locals are positive for the same.
The project cost would be reasonable if the contract was awarded through open bidding, he said, claiming that it was the weakness of the government that a contract was given without competition. CPN's Radha Kumari Gyawali, also the former Energy Minister, expressed her concern over a delay in the implementation of the budget. She criticized the government's apathy to allocate additional budget to the Budhi Gandaki Project when its detailed project has been already prepared.
Lawmakers from the ruling party protested the Appropriation Bill, 2076 while attending a discussion on several headings of the bill at the House of Representatives. Janardan Sharma from ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) complained that the government devalues West Rukum. He said the budget distribution process was unequal and wrong. NCP's Rajendra Prasad Gautam complained that his home district, Sankhuwasabha, had not received enough budget. Likewise, Ganesh Kumar Pahari said there are not expected results from development projects as the project selection process itself has been wrong. He drew the attention of the government to a slow-paced construction of the national priority projects.