House panel directs govt not to proceed ahead with West Seti Hydro project

The Committee on Natural Resources and Means of the Legislature-Parliament on Friday directed the government to not move ahead with the construction work of the 750-MW West Seti Hydro Electricity (WSHEP) Project for the time being.

The direction comes just ten days after the government and China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC), a Chinese power developer company, signed an agreement for the construction of the WSHEP in the capital.

Emerging from the meeting held at Singha Durbar, committee members said that the West Seti deal was “anti-national” and expressed dissatisfaction over the project.

Lawmakers from Nepali Congress, Gagan Thapa and Dharmaraj Gurung, among others, demanded that the agreement signed without following proper procedures be scrapped at once and select a company based on competition.

The parliamentary committee also formed an 11-member probe committee to conduct a detailed study of the agreement signed by the government with CTGC. The committee has been given 10 days to submit its report.

As per the agreement between Nepal government and CTGC, the Chinese company will hold 75 percent stake of the total cost for the construction of the project while the remaining 25 percent will be taken by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

The company will also issue 2 to 5 percent of its total investment to the locals as a share.

The total cost of the project is US$ 1.6 billion. The Chinese company will provide the amount required for the construction in concessional loans as proposed by the government.

The agreement also states that the financial management should be completed by 2014 while the project will be completed by 2019. Nepalnews.com

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