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Sajha Yatayat begins operation of disabled-friendly bus in the Valley

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Sajha Yatayat has brought into operation its first disabled-friendly bus service in Kathmandu Valley from Wednesday.

Kathmandu Metropolis Mayor Bidyasundar Shakya and Lalitpur Metropolis Mayor Chiribabu Maharjan jointly inaugurated the bus service (semi-low-floor) amidst a progrmme here in Capital.

The bus has been introduced with the aim of serving disabled, infirm and elderly persons who have trouble travelling in regular buses.

The disabled-friendly bus service will come into operation from Lagankhel to Gangalal Hospital through Patan Hospital, Jawalakhel, Kupandole, Tripureswor Eye Hospital, Bir Hospital, Jamal, Lainchaur, Lazimpat, Kanti Bal Hospital and Teaching Hospital, according to Sajha Yatayat.

The route has been designed so that the bus would travel through major hospital areas of Kathmandu and Lalitpur. The bus service will be available from 6am till 11pm.

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Having the capacity of 41 seats, the bus has also arranged separate seats for children. The Sajha Yatayat is planning to operate 24 additional buses including an electric one.

On the occasion, Kathmandu Mayor Shakya said that the number of disabled-friendly bus will be increased in future considering the need of citizens. Mayor Shakya expressed hope that more people will be encouraged to travel and make their daily commutes on luxurious and disabled-friendly buses.

Likewise, Lalitpur Mayor Maharjan pledged to provide all possible support from his side to continue the operation of Sajha bus service.

Also speaking on the occasion, Sajha Yatayat Chairperson Kanak Mani Dixit said that the citizens have been facing several challenges for optimum use of large buses in the Valley and expressed his confidence that Sajha Transport will overcome the challenges in coming days.

In 2015, the KMC had invested Rs 100 million to Sajha’s plan of introducing city buses. Sajha has now 47 buses in operation in and outside the Valley.

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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.

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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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