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Malaysia bus crash kills 8, wounds 33 factory workers

Gorkha Post

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GEORGE TOWN — At least eight people were killed and 33 others suataine injuries in a bus collision along the expressway in the Malaysian northern state of Penang on Tuesday morning, local newspaper New Straits Times reported.

The accident took place at around 5:30 am local time.

A bus ferrying Nepalese and Indonesian workers, had stopped on the left side of the road after an engine problem, while another bus, carrying 15 workers, failed to brake in time and rammed into the first bus pushing it to the right side of the road, NST quoted a police officer as saying.

It was reported that the stationary bus was carrying Indonesian and Nepalese workers from a Sony factory while the other bus was carrying workers from a Plexus factory.

Meanwhile, Nepali Embassy in Malaysia has informed that no Nepalis were hurt in the incident. The embassy said that the details of incident is yet to be ascertained.

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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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