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One killed in police firing in Birtamod

Gorkha Post

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JHAPA —  One person has been killed and other ten persons were injured in police firing in Birtamod of Jhapa district on Friday.

The deceased has been identified as local Rajesh Thapa. Thapa breathed his last on the way to the Mechi Zonal Hospital.

Police claimed they had to open fire after the protesters staged demonstration defying curfew imposed by the local administration since this afternoon.

The Local Administration has imposed curfew in the area after the situation turned violent following a clash between locals and police personnel. The curfew was imposed from 1:30 pm today till further notice from Mahananda Chok in North,Buspark area in East, Charpane in West and Birta Bazaar in South.

Police said that they have also detained 36 protesters.

The clash erupted after the security personnel tried to control demonstrator demanding action against three people arrested on the charge of murdering 11-year-old Laxman Siwakoti in Arjundhara on September 30.

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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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