CIAA asks ministry to scrap licences of 10 hydropower cos

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has directed the Energy Ministry to scrap electricity generation and survey licences of 10 companies.

Three of these companies have failed to conduct the survey despite obtaining the licence more than five years ago, while the remaining seven have not come into operation even after completing the survey.

The ministry has been asked to scrap power generation licenses of 50MW Karuwa Khola, 6MW Buku Khola, 45MW Lower Indrawati, 175MW Chahare Khola, 400MW Lower Arun, 3.4MW Midim Khola, 14.3MW Upper Mailum Khola, 18MW Upper Solu Khola and 6.8MW Upper Khoranga Khola projects.

Those facing annulment of survey licences are 36MW Karuwa Khola, 60MW Bhotekosi-5 and 6MW Buku Khola projects.

“The promoters did not initiate the power generation process instead continued to hold on to the licenses for years, violating the existing electricity law. So we have asked the line ministry to book them in accordance with the law,” said Govinda Bahadur Shrestha, one of CIAA’s investigators assigned to look into the matter, told the reporters.

Article 49 (5) of the Electricity Act provisions completion of the survey within five year after license issuance. Based on the same legal grounds, the anti-graft body instructed the line ministry to scrap the license. Legally, hydropower firms should complete the survey related tasks like environment impact assessment, feasibility study, and design drawing during the five-year period by any means, and those firms with generation license should start the work immediately after the license issuance.

“Some projects have not started generation even after six years of license issuance and are now seeking to prolong the process further in the name of upgrading the project,” said Shrestha. The anti-graft body has also warned of stern action against ministry officials as well if they delay implementation the directives.

Stating the country made very nominal progress in hydropower generation despite the issuance of such a huge number of licences, CIAA said it would continue the investigation into those holding the licenses. “It’s just a start. We will continue our action against the rule violators,” said CIAA’s Spokersperson Shreedhar Sapkota.

Govt asked to take action against Secy Gautam

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Friday directed the government to take a departmental action against Secretary Shreedhar Gautam for delaying decision over the share sale of Gokarna Forest Resort.

In a letter to the government, the anti-graft body has accused the then Trust Secretary Gautam of not responding to the applications filed by service seekers requesting share transfer.

Gautam is currently secretary at the Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation.

CIAA has claimed Gautam, while at the trust, did not make any decision over applications filed by LM Suvir Brothers Trading Private Limited for selling the shares of Gokarna Resort.

The CIAA letter has demanded the government desist from giving any vital responsibility to Gautam.

Gautam, however, said he solely was not responsible for the delay in making the decision. “In fact, a home minister-led management board is responsible for taking the decision, but I don’t know why they take such a decision against me,” said Gautam. (PR)

Source: eKantipur