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Bangladesh ambassador Shams says it will provide ports to Nepal to import fuel

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Bangladesh’s Ambassador to Nepal Mashfee Binte Shams said on Monday that Bangladesh would provide transit if Nepal imported petroleum products from third countries.

Speaking at a program organized by Reporters Nepal in Kathmandu, the Bangladeshi envoy said her country was ready to provide ports at Mangla and Chittagong as transit to Nepal for fuel and LPG imports.

Stating that Bangladesh knew about the existing fuel crisis in Nepal she said that Bangladesh has officially informed Nepal about the availability of the two ports and has shown interest in bringing in aviation turbine fuel from Bangladesh.

She said Nepal can be benefited by the railroad service reached out up to Rohanpur, Singhabad and Radhikapur.

Ambassador Shams pointed out the need for an immediate motor vehicle agreement between the two countries saying Nepali payload trucks can enter Bangladesh with any obstruction but Bangladeshi trucks are not allowed to enter Nepal.

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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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