KATHMANDU: At a time when the employees of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) have been protesting against the government’s decision to upgrade the built-in capacity of Trishuli 3-A, a group of former finance and energy ministers have objected to the government’s recent decision.
The ministers, who met interim government chairman Khil Raj Regmi on Thursday, said that the Nepal Electricity Board’s recent move to increase the project’s capacity from 60 MW to 90 MW will cause at least Rs 2 billion loss to the NEA. A board meeting of Nepal Electricity Authority chaired by Energy Minister Umakan Jha on Friday had decided to upgrade the project’s capacity from 60 MW to 90 MW. The decision was criticized from several quarters arguing that it would not be beneficial to the nation.
Former ministers Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, Surendra Pandey, Gokarna Bista, Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat and Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani told Regmi that the government should revoke the decision at the earliest.
A Chinese contractor won the contract to construct the run-of-the-river project — with Exim Bank,China, providing a US$ 89 million in soft loan. The government has faced severe criticism for the decision to upgrade the plant as it will not help reduce the load-shedding during the peak load-shedding season (dry season).
NEA staffers, who were protesting against the decision, have suspected massive irregularities while awarding the upgrading contract to the Chinese firm.
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