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Nepal Army bags gold in Exercise Cambrian Patrol 2017

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KATHMANDU — Nepal Army (NA) has bagged the gold medal in the Exercise Cambrian Patrol 2017, an arduous test in which around 131 teams from armies across the globe participated, held in Brecon, Wales.

A 10-member NA team led by Major Aayush Rana had reached the United Kingdom to participate in the exercise held from October 13 to 22. The Gorakh Box Battalion had participated in the event on behalf of the NA.

The grueling patrolling exercise, organised and run by the British Army annually, is physically and mentally demanding as the participants have to cover a distance of 80-kilometres in 48 hours while trekking through the rugged Cambrian mountains in Wales.

The exercise involves passing through difficult terrain in two days where a participant carries logistics and equipment weighing about 50 pounds. The participating teams must cross the specified locations including rivers based on the preparation of war, maps and compass and also manage injured persons and identify and take precaution of explosives planted in their path.

Cambrian Patrol is arduous and concentrates on leadership, teamwork, physical fitness and achieving the mission,according to British military website.

“It is conducted for the benefit of units and there is no final order of merit. The exercise is designed to be within the capability of any well-led and well-trained patrol from any Arm or Service,” it said.

Started some 50 years ago, the exercise is held every year in Wales and is delivered by HQ 160 Infantry Brigade on behalf of CLF. The aim of this exercise is to provide a challenging patrol exercise in order to enhance operational capability.

A total of 111 British army teams and 139 army team of various 28 participating countries had joined the event this year. Nearly one third of the total teams had failed to even complete the patrol exercise.

NA has said that these kinds of military exercises have helped to further strengthen the bilateral relations between Nepal and the United Kingdom.

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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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