UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council on Satuday has voted in favour of a resolution calling for a 30-day truce in Syria.
The unanimously approved resolution will allow for aid deliveries and medical evacuations to take place. UN chief Antonio Guterres appealed on Wednesday for an immediate end to ‘war activities’ in eastern Ghouta, where nearly 400,000 people have lived under government siege since 2013, without enough food or medicine.
The vote, held at around 2:30pm local time, had been delayed by more than 24 hours due to disagreements between Russia and other Security Council members over the wording of the resolution.
But, shortly after the unanimous vote by the 15-member council, warplanes struck a town in eastern Ghouta, the last rebel enclave near Syria’s capital, an emergency service and a war monitoring group said. Warplanes have pounded the region for seven straight days while residents holed up in basements.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, criticised Russia for delaying the Security Council meeting saying it had ‘belatedly decided to join the international consensus’.
“Hardly anything in the resolution has changed except a few words and commas,” she said following the vote.
“Every minute the council waited on Russia, the human suffering grew,” she said.
With Reuters InputsFollow @gorkhapost
Govt decides to award Budhi Gandaki Hydel project to Chinese firm again
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