Minister for Energy Radha Gyawali on Monday floated two new projects, along with the Power Trade Agreement (PTA), for discussion with India during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Talking to media persons, Gyawali said Nepali will propose India to build cross-border transmission line between Lamki of Nepal and Raebareli of India´s Uttar Pradesh to evacuate power generated by hydropower projects in mid and far-west development regions.
“As the regions hold the prospect of generating 4,700 MW, we want to develop the high-capacity transmission line with the Indian assistance,” Gyawali said.
The line would be the third cross-border transmission line between Nepal and India after the Dhalkebar Mujaffarpur 400 kV, which is currently under construction, and the Bardaghat Gorakhpur transmission line which is under study.
Additionally, GMR, the Indian developer of the Upper Karnali Hydropower Project, has proposed to build 400 kV transmission line to evacuate power generated by the project to India.
“Instead of building small transmission lines, we should develop high-capacity transmission lines to evacuate power generated by all the under-construction projects,” she added.
Likewise, the government will propose India to build Tamor Hydropower Project during Modi´s visit. “We will offer India the mega project if the southern neighbor shows interest to develop it,” Minister Gyawali added.
During bilateral meetings, Indian delegates have expressed interest to develop a mega hydropower project for Nepal.
Critics, however, say India is switching from one project to another instead of showing intent to implement it.
“The Tamor project will be downsized to 252 MW from 500 MW so that the Kabeli A (37.6 MW), which is under construction, is not affected,” Gyawali added.
Butwal Power Company is developing the Kabeli ´A´ project.
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) holds the survey license for the Tamor project.
Experts say the government should stick to signing PTA with India instead of proposing India to build different projects. They argue that signing of PTA with India would open a large market for Nepal´s hydropower, drawing foreign investments in Nepal´s hydropower sector.
Along with these two proposals, the proposal to sign PTA and expediting the construction of Pancheshwor Multi-Purpose Project is also in Nepal´s agenda for the meeting, according to Gyawali.
Gyawali also assured that the government will only table the agendas that uphold national interests. She also said the government has forged consensus with all political parties on the proposal for PTA with India. “I have held discussion with the opposition parties and even the CPN-Maoist, which is not in the parliament, and the rightist Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal,” she added.
The Agriculture and Energy Committee of the legislature-parliament on Sunday directed the government to sign PTA with India.
Probe into anomalies in Chilime projects: Minister
KATHMANDU,July 29: Minister for Energy Radha Gyawali has directed the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to probe into anomalies in Chilime Hydropower Company and its subsidiary companies.
Speaking at a press meet on Monday, Minister Gyawali said that she wanted to probe anomalies that have come to fore after NEA called back Chilime´s managing director Kul Man Ghising. “I have directed NEA´s Managing Director Ram Chandra Pande to investigate into the anomalies,” she added.
Gyawali also revealed that Ghising has not attended office even after NEA´s board decided to call him back from Chilime after completing high four-year term. She also said the government would mobilize security personnel to ensure that works in Chilime´s subsidiary companies go as per the schedule.
Chilime has three subsidiary companies. NEA holds 51 percent stake in Chilime.
Following NEA´ decision to recall Ghising, some employees unions have been protesting and obstructing works in the projects run by the subsidiary companies of Chilime.