Nepal's former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai today asked the government to scrap the move to hand over a key hydroelectric project to a Chinese company and urged it to start the work without further delay.
Bhattarai, also the chief of Naya Shakti Nepal party, met Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and submitted a memorandum urging him to start the construction work on the Budhi Gandaki Hydroelectric project and give priority to resettlement of the project-affected families among others.
Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project is a storage type project located in Central/Western Development region on the Budhi Gandaki River of Nepal. The project lies in Gorkha and Dhading districts.
Around 20,000 people living by the river in Dhading and Gorkha districts will be displaced by the project.
A Cabinet meeting on May 23 had decided to award the contract to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) to build the 1,200 MW project under the engineering, procurement, construction and finance (EPCF) model of project development.
Bhattarai said that awarding the contract of the project to the Chinese firm was against national interests and also technically faulty. Such decision would have a long-term effect on the country's economic and social sector, he added.
His party has urged that the project should be build by Nepal with investment from the government, national banks, Employees Provident Fund, Citizens Investment Fund, Nepal Army Welfare Fund, share of common people and, if needed, by taking loan on low interest rates from international banks.
Bhattarai also warned of street agitation if the demands were not addressed.
He also demanded that the government take action against the then Minister for Energy, Janardan Sharma, who led the decision to handover the assignment. Sharma is incumbent Minister for Home Affairs.