Local representatives from Gorkha, Dhading urge PM to implement Budhigandaki Project

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said he is doing his best to expedite works of the Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project.

Receiving a memorandum from a delegation comprising people’s representatives from the Gorkha and Dhading districts today at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister said, “The matter will be discussed in a meeting of the Council of Ministers scheduled for today itself,” pledging to prioritize the implementation of the Project.

The Budhigandaki Project with a capacity of generating 1200 mw of electricity is yet to be implemented in absence of the preparation of its investment model, though it has been decided to implement it through domestic investment.

The delegation comprises chairperson of Gandaki Rural Municipality in Gorkha, Deepak Timilsina; Chairperson of Sahid Lakhan Rural Municipality, Ramesh Babu Thapa Magar; Chair of Bhimsen Rural Municipality, Lok Prasad Banjara; Chair of Arughat Rural Municipality, Raju Gurung; Mayor of Palungtar Municipality, Bibash Chintan; Chair of Tripurasundari Rural Municipality in Dhading, Raju Upreti; and Chair of Jwalamukhi Rural Municipality, Yamanath Danai.

During the meeting, the delegation urged the Prime Minister to promptly ensure the economic sources for the Project and its implementation.

The local representatives apprised the Prime Minister that the absence of the project implementation has caused more problems for the people of the affected areas.

On Thursday, Budhigandaki Hydroelectricity Company Board of Directors presented drafts of two proposed models to implement the project to the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation.

According to Company Chief Executive Officer, Jagat Shrestha, the Board of Directors meeting on Thursday endorsed the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) and other two alternative models for the Project.

The Ministry is preparing to take a necessary decision on the proposed draft and send it to the Ministry of Finance seeking an approval.

The total construction cost of the project (when the interest of the construction period is also added) will be equivalent to Rs 317 billion and 670 million as the first option while it will be equivalent to Rs 313 billion and 930 million as the second alternative. The total construction cost is estimated to be Rs 310 billion and 470 million as the third option.

It is said that out of this cost, the total loan would be equivalent to Rs 254 billion and 270 million.

 

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