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.Follow @gorkhapost
Public transport fares hiked by 10 per cent
KATHMANDU — The government has hiked public transport fares by ten per cent effective from Sunday citing the recent increase in fuel prices.
The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport took a decision to this effect following a discussion between government officials and transport entrepreneurs held at the ministry on Saturday.
The meeting held at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport with federation representatives decided to hike fares, according to Department of Transport Management (DoTM) Spokesperson Gokarna Prasad Upadhyaya.
With this, the annual Dashain pre-bookings, which had been stuck in a loop of fall-outs between the government and the protesting Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs Association, made headway from Saturday evening.
The meeting also decided to form a committee to review and report on systematic fare adjustment for public transport within two months.Follow @gorkhapost