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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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World Bank to provide Rs 16 billion to 21 municipalities

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GALKOT- The World Bank is to invest tens of millions of rupees for the infrastructure development of Baglung Municipality.

Mayor of Baglung Municipality Janak Raj Poudel said that the WB is investing approximately Rs 16 billion in 21 municipalities throughout the country, including Baglung Municipality, through the Urban Administrative Capacity and Infrastructure Improvement Project II.

The Project organized a meeting some days back with mayors, deputy mayors, the chief administrative officers and engineers of the municipalities concerned and informed them about the local levels selected for the funding and the works to be carried out under the project.

According to mayor Poudel, four municipalities in Gandaki Province have been selected for the implementation of the project. These include Baglung Municipality in Baglung district, Vyas Municipality and Shukla Gandaki municipality in Tanahu district and Putalibazaar Municipality in Syangja district.

Poudel said each municipality will get between approximately Rs 700 million to Rs 800 million after the Project allocates the budget by preparing the indices.

The road taken as the ‘Ring Road’ of Baglung Municipality was constructed under the first phase of this Project. Mayor Poudel said that the municipality will spend the fund received from the Project in the ‘pride’ projects of the municipality.

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