PDA negotiation with Nepwaste advances at a slow pace

Published On: November 15, 2017 05:15 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Management of 1,200 KMC staff challenging

KATHMANDU, Nov 15: Investment Board Nepal (IBN) is negotiating Project Development Agreement (PDA) with Nepwaste for waste management of Kathmandu district (Package 1).

But the negotiation is going on at a rather slow pace.

The board, however, is hoepful of signing the PDA with Nepwaste in January, 2018.
The negotiation has not concluded yet as the IBN is yet to receive consent letters from three municipalities, including Kathmandu Metropolitan City, in the district. Similarly, IBN changed waste processing site from Teku to Banchare Danda after the negotiations started. It also caused the delay, according to IBN officials.

The government has selected Nepwaste -- a joint venture between Nepali and Finnish investors - for Package 1 of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Project. The package includes collecting waste from Kathmandu district and processing it at Banchare Danda.

The package includes nine municipalities and one metropolitan city of Kathmandu district.
“We have not received consent from the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and few other municipalities of Kathmandu district to collect waste from their area. It is delaying the PDA negotiations,” Uttam Bhakta Wagle, the spokesperson for the IBN, told Republica. “Similarly, Nepwaste is preparing a design of new waste processing plant for Banchare Danda. This is also causing delay.”

Officials of KMC say that the metropolitan city was reviewing PDA documents forwarded by IBN. They also said that issues like managing over 1200 staffers currently working for KMC for waste collection, transportation and disposal have not been resolved yet.

“We are holding discussion and consultation on the PDA documents. Our trade unions have opposed the proposal fearing that workers involved in waste management were at the risk of losing their jobs,” Gyanendra Karki, the spokesperson for KMC, said, adding that a backup plan is needed in case the private party fails to manage waste effectively. 

The KMC also has concerns over handing over of over 150 vehicles used for collecting wastes from different parts of the cities as well as heavy equipment used at landfill site.
In the draft PDA, IBN has proposed to adjust workers involved in waste management in the private company. But Karki said that the employees) are not yet ready to accept the proposal as it is. 

Nepwaste will run the project for 20 years in PPP model after a construction period of two years. 

Santosh Chalise, the mayor of Gokarneshwar Municipality, said that they were ready to accept the IBN proposal. But he was skeptic over the private company's capacity to implement the project. 

The municipality has also not given its consent to the IBN. But Chalise says that the municipality would give its consent very soon.

IBN officials claim that they will complete PDA negotiations by the end of December and that the same agreement will be replicated for Package 2 and 3 of the project. 
Clean Valley, a Nepal-India joint venture, will undertake waste management in Packages 2 and 3 which comprise of urban areas of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts as well as Kirtipur Municipality of Kathmandu district.

Both the companies will collect all the waste from households, streets and communities to collection centers and transport it to Banchare Danda where the waste will be processed to generate compressed natural gas and electricity as well as product chemical fertilizers.

The project was initiated before 2011. It came under the purview of the IBN after the board was established.

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