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Bali-bound AirAsia flight returns to Perth after mid-air emergency

Gorkha Post

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PERTH — An AirAsia flight heading to Bali from Perth plunged 20,000 feet shortly after take-off on Sunday (Oct 15) morning, leaving passengers terrified, Australian media reports said.

Flight QZ 535, with 145 people on board, dropped from 32,000 feet to 10,000 feet after a ‘technical issue’ on the flight, an hour out from Perth, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Passengers on board the plane took videos of the incident that unfolded, as oxygen masks dropped and passengers held on to their loved ones.

Others on the flight told Channel Nine that they had sent text messages to loved ones, fearing they were going to die.

Clare Askew, who was among the 145 passengers on board flight QZ535, said the reaction of the airlines crew made the ordeal all the more frightening.

“The panic was escalated because of the behaviour of staff who were screaming, looked tearful and shocked,” she said.

The pilot turned back and emergency services were placed on standby at Perth airport, according to ABC.

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Economy

Govt decides to award Budhi Gandaki Hydel project to Chinese firm again

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government has decided to award contract for the construction of the 1,200-megawatt Budhigandaki hydropower project, a national pride project, to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) once again.

A Cabinet meeting on Friday has decided to award the contract for the project to CGGCL reverting the erstwhile Sher Bahadur Deuba government’s decision to develop the 1200MW project with internal resources.

The Cabinet meeting has directed the Energy Ministry to initiate the process to award the project to the Chinese company.

Following the government decision, the Energy Ministry will now invite the Chinese company for talks and prepare a draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) before signing it, according to multiple sources at the ministry.

As per the Cabinet decision, the ministry has been asked to hold talks with the Gezhouba, prepare a proposal, and strike a deal to execute the $2.5 billion reservoir project.

Earlier on May 15, 2017, the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to construct the Budhigandaki project to CGGCL, juat nine days before he was to resign from the PM’s post.

The Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to CGGCL at a cost of Rs 260 billion as per a study carried out by a French company, Tractebel Engineering.

The agreement, however, invited controversy as the project was handed to the Chinese company without initiating a competitive bidding process.

The Budhi Gandaki hydel project has been touted as a key project to resolve the perennial power crisis in the country. The government has allocated Rs18 billion for compensation payments and operational expenses for this fiscal year.

The Gorkha and Dhading district administration offices are currently distributing compensation to owners of the land taken over by the project.

More than 8,000 households will be affected by the project, according to the latest report.

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