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CGGC claims govt cannot scrap Budhigandaki project deal, terms it invalid

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Land ownership certificate asked from Budhi Gandaki affected people for compensation

KATHMANDU — The China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) has claimed that the government’s decision to scrap the Budhigandaki Hydropower project deal is against the conditions set in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the Company.

Writing a letter to the Ministry of Energy (MoE), Yuan Zhixiong, Nepal representative of CGGC, has claimed that the government had to give the company a notice 30 days before taking the decision as per the provision of the MoU. A copy of letter was also sent to the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Chinese company has also said that it would refuse the unilateral declaration to terminate the MoU.

The incumbent government had scrapped the 1200-megawatt reservoir plant project MoU with the company on November 13, following instruction of the House panels to scrap the deal that was signed by the Maoists Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government.

The company has expressed reservation over the decision, saying that it was also not given prior information of the termination as per the Clause 9 of the MoU.

“The abrupt action on behalf of the Government of Nepal to terminate MoU specifies no ground nor we bound by any reasons to the decision of the termination, which in itself didn’t entertain the basic rule of game as stipulated under Clause 9 of the MoU,” the letter addressed to senior divisional engineer of MoE, Raju Maharjan, reads.

“Any party may terminate the MoU, with reasons, at any time by giving a 30-day advance written notice to the party.The government has the right to scrap the deal with reasons but no notice was furnished to us as per the MoU,” it states.

The Chinese company has also mentioned that the MoU with the CGGC had been endorsed by the Cabinet meeting of August 15 led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and it had decided to put the project under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the government of China.

A joint meeting of the Finance Committee and Agriculture and Water Resources Committee of then Legislature-Parliament had instructed the government to scrap the deal with the Chinese company citing the Dahal-led government had handpicked the company to award the contract under EPCF (engineering, procurement, construction and financing) contract breaching the set standards of competitive bidding.

After the deal with the Chinese company was scrapped, the Ministry of Energy recently handed over the project to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

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26 rhinos die in a year in CNP

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CHITWAN — Chitwan National Park (CNP) witnessed zero poaching of endangered one-horned rhinoceros in the fiscal year 2074/75. But the death of the rhinos by natural causes has increased recently, as the park has lost a total of 26 rhinos to various causes in this period.

26 rhinos died from various reasons including natural disaster in the period, according to the CNP information officer, Nurendra Aryal.

Four rhinos were killed in flood-related incidents with two caught in a marsh caused by the flooding while two were swept away by flood waters, he informed.

Fighting, delivery complications (in case of some female rhinos) and aging are other reasons behind the deaths of a noticeable number of this endangered wildlife last fiscal year. Three female rhinos succumbed to child delivery complications in this period. They died after failing to give birth to their babies.

The park however has recorded no case of rhino poaching since April 8, 2017.However, the number of rhino deaths due to other reasons was slightly up in the year compared to the previous year, according to the CNP Information Officer Aryal.

This figure is followed by 25 and 15 rhino deaths in previous two fiscal years respectively.

The natural causes led to the death of 24 rhinos in the fiscal year 2073/74 and 15 in 2072/73.

The need of a study was felt to seek potential ways for minimising the death risk among rhinos with their death toll increasing every year, CNP chief conservation officer, Bed Kumar Dhakal said. A squad from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation has already begun a study to this end.

The CNP latest details mentioned about 605 rhinos here.

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