Friday, February 26, 2010

Your article on Karnali project in "Yo Sata"

February 24, 2010

Mr Radheshyam Adhikari
Member, Constituent Assembly

Dear Radheshyamjee

Thank you very much for intimating me about publication of your article in “Yo Sata”. I have following comments to make with respect to your article.

UCPNM is critical of this project
In your article you have stated that it’s beyond your comprehension as to why UCPNM is critical of this project. First of all, in my considered opinion, you are giving undue “credit” to that particular political party for the criticism of that project. I have put the word credit in quotes (I am sure that, you will not agree with me) because critical appraisal of this project (any water resource project, for that matter) is worth a lot more than meets the eye. I commend them (contrasted to your condemnation) for being able to see through the façade of the project and establish that this project isn’t in the national interest of Nepal (it’s definitely in Indian national interest, though) which I have been able to prove beyond any “reasonable” doubt in my article (abridged version) published in Gorkhapatra on which you have commented in your email to me and my paper with in-depth analysis on the very subject (already uploaded in my website ( I urge you to peruse the paper before criticizing those critical of the project.

And UCPNM alone doesn’t deserve to be credited wholly and solely for being critical of it because they became critical of this project just recently, whereas critical appraisal of this project was done by many more since last two years including by yours truly. Even a case was filed in the Supreme Court and case is still under active consideration of the judiciary. However, it’s true that the activities of UCPNM now has raised the profile of criticism of this project to a rather higher plane and have succeeded to do so more vocally. But the likes of this scribe have been pointing out the deficiencies in the way this project is structured and packaged since January 2008.

Criticism of the Project
Your admission of not being able to understand is “understandable” as you don’t seem to have in-depth perspective of this project. As you have reverted back to me after having read my article on this project in Gorkhapatra, I trust you are now more informed, to an extent, about the deficiencies in the way this project is structured and packaged and why each nationalistic Nepali who strongly feels for the motherland with the heart in the right place should be critical of the way this project is structured and packaged. My paper on this project, prepared for presentation in a workshop organized by Nepal Engineering Infrastructure Development Society on 12th February will be able to make you understand why even you should join forces with me in criticizing this project. I encourage you to visit my website and peruse it in order to be more and properly informed. It is very important for a person like you to be correctly informed about these matters.

In my considered opinion, every citizen of Nepal, including yourself, should be critical of the way it’s structured and packaged for following reasons:

  • The project site is an invaluable/rare gift of nature to our motherland with no parallel and implementation of the project with installed capacity of 300 MW is mutually exclusive of storage project of 4,180 MW. To do so is high treason against our motherland.
  • From 300 MW Nepal will earn only Rs 36 crore each year from Royalties, while from 4,180 MW Nepal could have earned Rs 4.84 billion; a difference of 1344% (yes, over one thousand three hundred percent; not some small amount)!
  • The value of free energy from 300 MW is only Rs 46 crore while the value of free energy from 4180 MW is Rs 4 billion; a difference of over 10 times.
  • If this project is to be optimized at its correct installed capacity of 4180 with storage facility, it could have generated regulated flow of about 500 m3s with a potential to irrigate 1.5 million hectares of land. By using the rate agreed between Lesotho and South Africa and making the water available to India (instead of using it for irrigation purposes in Nepal), Nepal is in a position to earn Rs 52 billion annually.
  • By under-sizing this project Nepal stands to lose Rs 60 billion each year. In order to understand the magnitude of this amount I urge you to take a look at this year’s Nepal’s budget in which Nepal’s total revenue is Rs 176 billion and the amount Nepal stands to lose due to under-sizing of this project is more than one-third of this amount. I am really amazed that people in Nepal are prepared to forgo such a huge amount; tantamount to committing high treason.

Blockade and Embargo
In your article you have referred to the blockade and embargo imposed on Nepal, for no rhyme and reason, during 1988-90 by India. It’s not clear as to why you had to refer to it. I don’t want to believe that you have referred to it to imply that if UCPNM continues to oppose this project, India will be justified in imposing embargo and blockade again. Conversely, I am advocating self reliance just to ensure that Nepal will be able to survive if India is to resort to something irrational as such again. There are things for which Nepal won’t be able to be self reliant. But electricity, thankfully, isn’t one of them. Nature has bestowed enough potential for Nepal to be self reliant and we should endeavor to do so by having hydropower projects implemented for domestic consumption, not export. Please remember that exporting electricity to India doesn’t mitigate load shedding problem in Nepal.

Aggravation of load shedding problem in Nepal
You have opined that failure to get this project built will result in aggravation of load shedding problem in Nepal, wrongly. As this project is dedicated for export of power to India, there is no relationship between implementation of this project and mitigating of load shedding problem of Nepal. Meaning, implementation of this project will not reduce the magnitude of load shedding in Nepal at all. On the contrary, if it’s to be built as we have conceptualized (at its optimum capacity), Nepal would not only be able to survive another round of blockade/embargo from the perspective of energy, if India is to impose foolishly again, but also industrialize this country and generate employment in Nepal such that those having gone to foreign countries for employment will be able to have dignified employment in their motherland itself. Looks like you aren’t aware that India treats electricity also as a “strategic” commodity. Last Baisakh India refused to “give” 30 MW to Nepal and immediately following it Prachanda government collapsed. Therefore, it’s time we too treated electricity prudently, if not strategically.

Arun III project and current load shedding
In making sweeping comment you have ascribed current load shedding to cancellation of Arun III. In my considered opinion, this looks like a comment made with rather with superficial knowledge. I do hope that’s not true. In my in-depth analysis of this issue, it comes out very clearly that if Nepal had taken up this project at that time, the magnitude of current load shedding would have been much more severe. NEA’s losses, that has already crossed Rs 12 billion mark now, would have been much more heavier if Arun III project was implemented. If you have time you can peruse it by following the link below:

Indian security force in Nepal
Both in your email below and in your article you have said that “India could force our authorities to concede in the area of security. They could ask their security personnel stationed in the said project to protect their citizens (sic) investment interest.” I hope you aren’t implying that if India is to demand as such, it will be justified and Nepal should be wiling to concede in view of UCPNM obstruction of the project. This will merely amount to using UCPNM as an excuse to do so. Because without any provision as such in, much condemned, Koshi and Gandak treaties, Indian security force is stationed in the barrages of Koshi and Gandak projects. You may not be aware that Karnali Chisapani project, 10,800 MW, was shelved by the then royal government of Nepal just for this reason. Please refer to “India-Nepal Relations – Challenges Ahead” by Jagat Mehta, former secretary of ministry of foreign affairs of India. In view of this, although monarchy got eliminated from Nepal as it deserved, but at least from this respect the then monarchy must be commended. Similarly king Mahendra should be appreciated for succeeding to evict Indian military check posts and mission in June 1969. You seem to be implying that opposition to this project can invite Indian security force in Nepal while I am of the opinion that this project shouldn’t be made export oriented for that very reason. Conversely, it should be built as an export oriented project only upon receipt of commitment from India that no foreign security force will be stationed in Nepal, in writing.

Besides, we should first aim to become self reliant and export energy, not power, in case we have surplus. However, from the above, it won’t be prudent for people to jump to conclusion that I am against exporting electricity to India. I am against exporting it while keeping more than 75% of Nepal’s population in the dark. But it is logical to export energy, not power that isn’t consumed in Nepal. Since you have been frequently writing articles on hydropower, I trust that you are familiar with the distinction between power and energy.

Political Overtone
You have thanked me for the article published in Gorkhapatra, except for the “political overtone” that you seem to have detected. I am not a politician and nor do I have any plan to be one, ever. Nor is there any “political overtone” in my paper. I wonder how and why did you jump to that conclusion. After re-reading my own article, I can categorically tell you that I have used the word political in the context only in one place to rebut the statement issued by GMR. In that context I had simply pointed out the errors committed by the politicians since 1950 which are historical facts; not political overtone on my part. I had made objective comments with philosophic detachment. I don’t have any political motivation as I am an apolitical person.

Some people may not deem 1950 treaty and other treaties related to water resource historical mistakes; all of which were executed during the periods of instability and transition. But in my considered opinion those are against Nepal’s national interest and therefore, bad treaties. In saying this I have not made any political overtone. You are at liberty to make socio-economic assessment/evaluation of these treaties and arrive at your own conclusions and I will not brand your conclusions as political; nor should you do so with my conclusions. However, you are welcome to dispute my conclusions empirically (based on facts and figures).

I will give you one example. Both Koshi and Gandak treaty are bad in as much as the way the extant projects on these rivers were implemented and, hence, the condemnation is well deserved. The less said about these is better. However, in both of these treaties Nepal’s interest with respect to right to water has been safeguarded very well. I hope you will notice that here I am commending the treaties, not condemning. I have come out with this comment in times and circumstances where warranted. This too is one. Article 4 of Koshi treaty stipulates that Nepal will have “right to withdraw for irrigation and for any other purpose in Nepal water from the Kosi River and from the Sun-Kosi River or within the Kosi basin from any other tributaries of the Kosi River as may be required from time to time. The Union shall have the right to regulate all the balance of supplies in the Kosi River at the barrage site”. Similar spirit is captured in article 9 of Gandak treaty. However, “trans-Valley uses of Gandak waters” is prohibited under this treaty. Meaning diversion of water into Kathmandu valley from any tributary of this river system (like from Tadi khola across Shivapuri range) is prohibited whereas, as no such restriction exists in Koshi treaty it is possible to divert water from Melamchi to Kathmandu valley. For this very reason India hasn’t raised a word of protest against Melamchi project. Therefore, Koshi treaty is relatively better than Gandak treaty from this perspective. Please note that there is no need for you to jump to the conclusion that I am being harsh on BP Koirala compared to MP Koirala. I have merely made a relative assessment/evaluation of the two treaties objectively. These treaties consists of 6/7 pages only and you can easily verify my statement in no time. I urge you not to detect political overtone where none exists. When UCPNM wanted cancellation of these treaties, I got alarmed and have alerted them from committing the mistake of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.” I have also publicly criticized them for coming out with such superficial statements.

If one were to make a relative assessment of all three treaties related to water resources and Tanakpur MoU, the last is the best and Mahakali is the worst. People like this scribe had to condemn Tanakpur MoU as the then government was trying to circumvent article 126; otherwise this treaty didn’t harm Nepal as far as her right to water is concerned. For allowing India to use under 10 hectares of Nepal’s land, India agreed to give 70 GWh of electricity free of cost. Similarly I have made public my objective views as to why Mahakali treaty deserves to me condemned. I am glad that you didn’t find political overtone in my condemnation of Mahakali treaty.

Hence, I find it difficult to find your article balanced and in national interest. Whereas, in my considered opinion, my article is based on a very balanced in-depth analyses of the project and the treaties.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha

From: radheshyam adhikari []
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2010 13:59
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
Subject: Re: Fw: My article on upper Karnali

dear ratnasansarjee

thank you for your writeup about upper karnali and providing so many information at one place.except political overtone made by you i could agree with you to take lesson for future projects so that we donot repeat mistakes. but regarding the projects which has been signed duly by the governments of the day cant be altered easily under the pressure of one political party alone. it could invite more problems to us because india could force our authorities to concede in the area of security.they could ask their security personnel stationed in the said project to protect their citizens investment interest.our views regarding to powerful neighbours should be a balanced and considered one , which unfortunately is lacking in the case of maoists.youcould see my short writeup regarding upper karnali project in last week's yo sata if you desire.
thank you again for sending your article.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Electricity Crisis (Load shedding) in Nepal

Ratna Sansar Shrestha
– Its Manifestations and Ramifications


Nepal is in the grip of electricity crisis. The electricity crisis of this millennium began in 2006. Nepal saw the last electricity crisis of the last millennium in 1999 and with the commissioning of Khimti project in 2000, there was no load shedding through till 2005. Earlier NEA used to ascribe load shedding to “no water in rivers.” However, since last wet season Nepal had to suffer from load shedding even while she had to struggle with “flood” problem. With no electricity for 16 hours a day, the last dry season was the worst so far. Nepal’s macro economy is suffering heavily due to the phenomenon. However, it is anomalous that even at the time of load shedding NEA has been spilling energy due to mismatch of system as well as transmission congestion. NEA has promised respite from the problem in next 5 yeas but the facts and figures do not corroborate the claim. GoN’s defective vision and short sighted policy is at the root of the problem which can be mitigated by setting the vision right and making the policy more forward looking and based on the principle of self-reliance.

Key words: electricity crisis, load shedding, NEA, IPPs, adverse impact, anomaly, respite, GoN Policy, tariff, Nepal.
The “load shedding” schedule, that Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) publishes regularly, has become a must have document in every household these days, such that it has gained, though cynical, popularity amongst the consumers in Nepal. It must be admitted that, NEA is both fair and equitable in making electricity available (or conversely unavailable) as the number of hours consumers didn’t receive electricity (or received electricity) was same for all consumers within a region. Further, the hours that the consumers didn’t (or did) receive electricity was rotated such that no consumer received (or didn’t not receive) electricity everyday during the same window of time. NEA deserves to be complimented for its competence in preparing a fair and equitable load shedding schedule and implementing it with “punctuality”!
Electricity Crisis
Nepal is being ravaged by the electricity crisis. The electricity crisis of this millennium began in 2006. Nepal saw the last electricity crisis of the last millennium in 1999 and, with the commissioning of Khimti project in 2000, there was no load shedding through till 2005. Nepal was grappling with the problem of flood in the first week of August 2008, with resultant loss of life and limb as well as property in the hilly areas and Terai of the west Nepal. Besides, the breach of Koshi embankment, erroneously billed as a flood, during the same window of time played havoc in east Nepal where people were getting drowned (and killed, unfortunately, too) and displaced, homes being washed away, and farmers’ investment of time, money and energy in the cultivation washed out. Moreover, communication network and infrastructure including road network was thrown in disarray. But, although NEA used to trot out the excuse of no water in rivers whenever it came up with a load shedding schedule, even in such abundance (or flood!) NEA was imposing a load shedding of 2 hours each day, two days a week. With effect from 27th August, 2008 the load shedding hours was increased to 16.5 hours/week. The increase of load shedding by more than 4 times was ascribed to (a) inability to import power from India, due to collapse of a particular transmission tower in east Nepal caused by the breach of Koshi embankment, and consequent flooding of the area and (b) low water level in Kulekhani reservoir. There was one more reason behind the “augmentation” of load shedding hours which can be gleaned by studying following table closely[1]:

Table 1
Availability as of Aug 26, 2008 (Bhadra 10, 2065[2])
From the above table it is clear that the load shedding of 4 hours/week and 16.5 hours/week during the rainy season last year could also be ascribed to the fact that a number of plants were not operating at its full capacity although there was no dearth of water in the rivers; of 617.28 MW installed capacity in the system at that time, the power plants were generating only 530 MW, although availability of water was not a problem. This implies that these plants were not properly maintained and, therefore, not generating at full capacity even during the wet season. In the dry season when a number of power plants are not able to generate to its full capacity due to paucity of water, necessary scheduled maintenance should have been undertaken. Looks like timely maintenance of these plants were not undertaken.

Presenting the annual report for fiscal year 2007/8, NEA’s Managing Director mentioned that “in the dry months, shrinking of snow-fed rivers further worsen the situation and we were left with no option but to impose 48 hours-a-week load curtailment for every consumers.”[5] The load shedding timing during that fiscal year was as detailed in following table:

Table 2
Load shedding during FY 2007/8[6]
With the installed capacity of 615.959 MW in FY 2006/7, NEA saw a growth in peak power demand by 11.31% and 10.76% growth in energy demand in FY 2007/8 – which further aggravated the problem, resulting in 46.5 hours-a-week load curtailment for every consumer in the dry season during that year.[7] Against a demand growth of 73.34 MW during that year, only 1.42 MW got added to the system[8]. The energy demand in the year totaled 3,490.12 GWh while available energy was 3,180.66 GWh only. The various sources from which the energy was available in this period are as follows[9]:

Table 3
Sources of Electricity in GWh
Thus the load shedding is a function of the deficit of 309.46 GWh between energy available and energy demand during the year. The peak system demand of 721.73 MW was recorded on December 31, 2007 which is depicted in the following chart[10]:

Chart 1
Undeclared Load Shedding
According to NEA’s annual report for FY 2007/08, NEA had 1,524,610 consumers connected to its grid, which works out to 31% of the estimated population of 2008 of about 27 million. That means 69% of Nepal’s population did not have to suffer from the vagaries of NEA’s load shedding; the undeclared one. The simple reason behind this is that these people, for lack of access to the services of NEA, were under 24 hour load shedding and that too around the year. From another perspective, the load shedding could have had a lot more serious adverse impact but for the fact that people in Nepal used only 70.865 kWh per capita of electricity in 2006, which is very low compared to Iceland where people consumed 31,147.292 kWh per capita,[11] highest in the world, in the same year. The principal reason behind such low consumption of electricity can be assessed from following chart:
Chart 2
Energy consumption in 2007/8: 9,858,000 toe[12] (estimated)[13]

It is clear from the above chart that electricity as source of energy comprised only 2.04% of the total consumption of energy in 2007/8 while 85% of energy consumed was from the traditional sources like firewood, agricultural residue and animal residue. In the same year the remaining 12.35% comprised of imported sources like coal and petroleum products for which Nepal needed to shell out hard earned convertible foreign exchange (hard currency); entailing balance of trade deficit as well as balance of payment deficit.
There exists another facet of the problem manifest in the above chart which can be seen from the example of industrial corridors in Morang-Susari districts, Bara-Parsa districts, Rupandehi district that are power-starved. It is estimated that each of these corridors require additional power of 200 MW but due to lack of generation of electricity in the country, industrial growth of the country is being suppressed and due to the same reason Nepali economy is literally stagnating (or haven’t been allowed to grow to its full potential). This is a kind of undeclared load shedding that also has severe adverse impact on industrialization of and employment generation in the country and consequently on the macro economy.
Load Shedding in Near Future
In one of the presentations made by the officials of NEA future load shedding has been projected as follows:

Table 4
Load shedding forecast[14]
This presents an unfortunate scenario for people of Nepal and its macro economy. It is also noteworthy that the actual load shedding in the dry season of 2009 was 16 hours/day instead of projected 10 hours/day.

Why Load Shedding?
It is rather normal for people to wonder why we have to put up with load shedding in a country that is endowed with an economic potential of 43,000 MW of hydropower. It is more surprising, knowing that relevant officials did have prior knowledge of what will be the demand for electricity in the country in specific years to come. From the table (load forecast) below one is able to find out what will be the electricity demand even in FY 2025/26:
Table 5
Load Forecast[15]
Having access to this information, NEA and other policy makers must have been in a position to prepare plans for an increase in generation. However, it is saddening to note that generation expansion has not kept pace with consumption growth. One of the problems behind this is the failure to complete project construction and commission in time – Middle Marsyangdi project is a prime example which was supposed to be completed in 2004 originally. However, looking at the magnitude of power deficit, it is not difficult to see that even with this project completed in a timely manner Nepal would have faced load shedding as the projects in the pipeline is not commensurate to growth of electricity consumption.

Demise of Arun III and Load Shedding
With the country facing load shedding due to supply constraint, people, ranging from the then finance minister (an economist, possessing doctorate degree) and many electricity experts (self proclaimed and otherwise), have been ascribing the current electricity crisis to the cancellation of Arun III in 1995, which was scheduled to be completed in 2005. However, this scribe, in his article published in Hydro Nepal (a journal of water, energy and environment) has proved that the ground reality is diametrically opposite to this contention.[16]
Silver lining
Like in all dark cloud, some silver lining has been seen in the load shedding problem of Nepal. Candle industry, which is a flourishing cottage industry of Nepal, has further flourished due to the electricity crisis obtaining in the country. It is heart warming to note, as candle industry has high level of backward linkage, that it must be contributing to the economy significantly. Perhaps many a marital relationships, undergoing some crisis, must have taken a turn for the better due to ubiquitous candle light during dinners frequently, even at homes!
Similarly, sale of inverters, batteries, generators, solar panels, etc. also has increased by a magnitude. There is nothing to be happy about the increased turnover of these, as these have to be imported. In the case of inverters, the experts opine that use of inverters at home exacerbates the problem further as these mediums store energy inefficiently. Similarly, increase in the sales of generators has contributed to aggravation the fossil fuel crisis in the country besides contributing to environmental pollution. Due to time constraint, this paper is not able do an in-depth analysis of this aspect.
Adverse impact
Obviously the primary impact of load shedding is on NEA in terms of loss of revenue. In FY 2007/08 the deficit of electricity was 309.46 GWh and at average revenue rate of Rs 6.70/kWh[17] NEA could have earned Rs 2.07 billion incremental revenue and would have been able to post a net profit of Rs 761 million, instead a net loss of Rs 1.312 billion, but for this crisis.
There was a time when even hospitals suffered due to shortage of oxygen which was ascribed to unavailability of electricity. Similarly, factories operating for 3 shifts had to operate only 2 shifts and those operating 2 shifts had to scale down to 1 shift. It even became difficult to operate a factory for a particular shift contiguously as the load shedding occurred in the middle of a shift which posed a new kind of challenge. Especially adversely impacted were the industries that needed to keep operating their boilers or furnaces 24 hours a day as restarting these after a stoppage impacted the industry grievously because reheating or restarting a boiler was a costly affair and substantial amount of materials had to be wasted in the heating and cooling process. In order to mitigate this problem, a number of industries acquired standby generators which increased the fossil fuel crisis by a magnitude. On the other hand, even after procurement of standby generators many industries were forced to stand idly by as they were unable to operate even the standby generators due to shortage of fossil fuel to operate them.
A study on “Economic Impact of Poor Power Quality on Industry – Nepal” was conducted on the auspices of USAID-SARI/Energy Program. The study examined the electricity supply interruptions both in terms of outages as well as loss of quality of power. Momentary interruptions, unplanned and planned outages, voltage fluctuations, and supply harmonics were considered. The conclusions relevant for the purpose of this paper are with regard to planned outages. The variation in the economic cost of planned outages in different industry categories is given in the table below. The industry-wide average cost of planned interruption is calculated to be US$ 0.14 per kWh. [18]
Table 6
Economic Cost of Planned Interruptions
From this, it is clear that as a result of the electricity deficit of 309.46 GWh, the cost to the economy of Nepal amounted to a whopping Rs 3.25 billion due to planned interruptions (at the rate of US 14 ¢/kWh, equivalent to Rs 10.5). The study referred to here has used the cost of operating standby electricity generation to arrive at the cost of planned outage as the main component of it. However, as even just the fuel cost of the stand by generator exceeds Rs 15/kWh,[19] this estimate is on the lower side. Besides, this computation also ignores the cost of the chain impact on the economy in terms of lost employment, loss of purchasing power resulting in loss of demand for goods, consequential loss of revenue by the Government of Nepal (GoN) etc. due to unavailable power; all these culminating in reduction of GDP – the opportunity cost. Therefore, the loss to the macro economy is exponentially higher. However, it is beyond the ambit of this paper to deal with this issue.

Further, the load shedding problem also aggravated and compounded the fuel crisis as various factories, even shops and some households started using generators to mitigate the problem of load shedding. Besides, the use of fossil fuel as an alternative to electricity increased environmental pollution (due to industries, shops[20] etc. using backup generators) including indoor pollution.
There is a note worthy anomaly in all this – spilling of electricity (wasting generation capacity) in the midst of load shedding. In fiscal year 2007/8, as mentioned earlier, the energy demand totaled 3,490.12 GWh while available energy was 3,180.66 GWh only resulting in a deficit of 309.46 GWh. However, NEA spilled 223.378 GWh of this precious commodity during the same period.[21]
The problem can be attributed to the mismatch of system. Nepal’s system predominantly comprises of run of the river power plants that generate more during rainy season while generating close to one-third of the capacity with the discharge in the rivers going down. On the other hand, consumption pattern in Nepal is diametrically opposite of generation by RoR projects – high quantum of electricity consumption in the dry season (winter) and low consumption during wet (rainy) season.
Kulekhani I and II – totaling 92 MW – is the only storage project in Nepal, generation from which could be tailored to the demand. Therefore, the peak-in energy generated by these plants is at premium. But the source of water of this reservoir is not reliable rivers with significant flow. These reservoirs depend on localized rain (cloudburst) to replenish the water. The water collected in this reservoir should have reached the elevation of 1,530 m during the rainy season last year. “The monsoon has come to a close but the water level reached only 1496 m.” Previous year the water level had reached 1516 m. This too contributed to the severity of load shedding in the last dry season. Besides, it should also be noted that the dead storage of this reservoir has already reached 25% level (that is the capacity of the reservoir is only 75% of what was originally built for).
Moreover, instead of using peak-in power from Kulekhani only during peak periods – in both dry and wet season – NEA is forced to use it during other times, especially for the Birgunj-Parwanipur industrial corridor due to transmission congestion in Hetauda-Bharatpur transmission network. There were times when NEA spilled energy generated by Kali Gandaki A project while using electricity from Kulekhani even during normal and off-peak periods.
There is another facet of this spill story. In 2006 spring a Nepali businessperson based in India, who had lined up buyers for the spill energy as such, approached NEA to sell such spill energy. However, unfortunately for NEA and the nation, no deal could be struck for the purpose. The person even demonstrated his sincerity by not asking NEA to sale the spill energy to him without completing the due process in a transparent manner. He specifically suggested to NEA that it do so in both competitive and transparent manner and let the bidder offering best price strike the deal. The proposal didn’t make any progress whatsoever. It is heartrending to note that even selling such energy at Rs 1 per kWh, NEA could easily have collected Rs 223 million which would have reduced the net loss to that extent.
Promised Respite from Load Shedding
In its annual report for FY 2007/8, NEA proclaimed that “it is envisioned that Nepal would be power surplus by year 2013/14.” In the capacity of a consumer suffering from the vagaries of the load shedding, one would wish luck to NEA for the promise. The reason given was the anticipated commissioning of following projects by 2013/14[22]:
Table 7:
Projects to be commissioned by 2013/14
After implementation of the above mentioned projects, the total anticipated generation capacity in the system will be 1493.38 MW. However, whether the promise will be kept depends entirely on NEA, how it functions, etc. Let’s make an attempt to examine if NEA will be able to keep the promise.

According to the load forecast of NEA (Table 5 above) the peak demand in 2013/14 will be 1271 MW and as total available in the system will be 1493 MW, superficially it would seem that there will not be any need for load shedding. However, even ordinary consumers (without understanding the technicalities of electricity generation) have learnt by now the hard way that during the dry season (when the demand for power reaches its peak) hydropower plants do not generate to their full capacity. Therefore, in the promised year 2013/14, the peak demand will be 1271 MW while with the total generation capacity of 1493.38 MW NEA will be able to generate only in the order of 7-8 hundred MW or less during the dry season.
Specifically speaking, with an installed capacity of 617.38 MW in the system, 2768.25 GWh was generated in FY 2007/8, achieving a plant factor of 51.19%. Therefore, if the total installed capacity is to reach 1493.38 MW in FY 2013/14, at the plant factor of 51.19% the generation in the dry season will be 764.40 MW only and there will be resultant shortfall of 506.60 MW; consequently a scenario for definite load shedding. Conversely, to meet the projected demand of 1271 MW in that particular year the required installed capacity works out to 2483 MW, at the plant factor of 51.19%, which is an increase by 1865 MW. Unfortunately for the consumers of electricity in Nepal GoN is aiming to add only 876 MW[23] by that year. A sure shot scenario for continued electricity crisis in and through 2013/14.
Moreover, it also needs to be remembered that generation capacity will reach 1493.38 level in that year only if all the projects are commissioned in timely manner as specified in the table 7 above. NEA, unfortunately, does not have a track record of completing its hydropower projects without incurring significant time overrun since the days of Kulekhani which becomes clear from the following table.
Table 8
Time Overrun by Project
Furthermore, above table 7 also anticipates addition of 281 MW by the private sector by that time. For this purpose the private investors need to able to execute power purchase agreements (PPAs) with NEA. From the information available till now (at the time of writing this paper), no PPA has been signed with any of the projects listed above in table 7. In view of this, the likelihood of adding 806 MW by 2013/14 is rather remote. Therefore, even if 806 MW is added to the system there will be a short fall of 506.60 MW and, hence, load shedding. If any of the projects listed aren’t commissioned in time, the gap between demand and supply will be wider and the electricity crisis will be more severe.

This indicates that there is something seriously wrong at various levels like, comprehension of the problem, planning to mitigate the problem and also in the implementation of the projects. Basically seriousness in understanding the problem is lacking and in such a scenario measures to mitigate the problem too tend to be rather sketchy.

GoN Policy and Load Shedding
Nepal’s Water Resource Strategy[24] stipulates that “by 2017, 2230 MW hydropower developed to meet projected demand of 2230 MW, including 400 MW for export.” According to load forecast prepared by NEA (table 5 above) peak demand in FY 2017/18 is estimated at 1770.2 MW and to meet this level of demand the installed capacity will have to be at least or more than 3500 MW as power plants generate at around 50% of the installed capacity. Therefore, with 2230 MW in the system it will generate only about 1115 MW during the dry season and, therefore, the plan to export 400 MW will not be possible. Actually, if the peak load is 1770.2 MW and generation reaches 2230 MW level, the continuance of load shedding will be definite. From this it’s clear that the authors of the strategy lacked necessary vision in terms of consumption pattern in Nepal and intricacies of generation plans and plants.
With regard to how much power Nepal can use one needs to think outside the box and look at the issue from a different perspective. If Nepal’s economic potential of 43,000 MW is to be harnessed at the plant factor of 51.19% (current standard of Nepal’s system), the electricity available will be 7140 kWh per capita for the current population of 27 million. With the population expected to reach 42 million in 2030, the electricity available will be a meager 4590 kWh per capita. This point is being belabored here to link electricity consumption with the prosperity of a nation and its populace due to forward linkaged benefits like industrialization, employment generation, import substitution, etc. Nepal can even escape from current petroleum product crisis significantly by electrifying transportation system (ranging from electric train, trolley bus, cable car, ropeway, electric bike, etc. to even hybrid car). Actually Nepal should aim to maximize use of power generated by harnessing its water resource domestically and also benefit by forward linkaged benefits. Use electricity to lift water to irrigate, to run cold storage, to set up agro-processing industries, use for industrialization of Nepal, also to set up energy intensive industries.
One needs to remember that most of the prosperous countries consume electricity above 10,000 kWh per capita (Iceland consumed 31,147.292 kWh per capita in 2006 — the highest in the world) and for Nepali consumers to use 10,000 kWh per capita the installed capacity necessary will be in the order of 61,000 MW which is a lot more than even the economic potential of Nepal (43,000 MW). In this backdrop, it is disingenuous to say that Nepal has excess capacity. Therefore, the policy and strategy adopted by the government based on the assumption that Nepal has excess hydropower potential, the only use of which is exporting it to a neighboring country is at the root of all the problems.
Presently the policy is focused on getting free energy by allowing developers to implement projects as export oriented. Which results in cheap and better quality electricity being exported (example is West Seti, Upper Karnali and Arun III) while condemning people in Nepal to live in the dark due to load shedding, leaving industries to starve for energy and continuing with long queues for petroleum products that pollute the environment and make people sick, increasing the absenteeism from work, and spend hard earned money on medicine and medical treatment.
Way forward
All problems have solutions and load shedding problem is not different. In following lines an attempt is being made to come up with certain suggestions as to how the problem is best mitigated. However, due to time and space constraint, all the issues could not be dealt with here exhaustively, although one could come up with many more suggestions.
GoN Policy: Nepal government should have a policy to implement as many hydropower projects as possible with domestic investment so that investment linkaged benefit will percolate into the economy. This does not mean that we should close our doors to foreign direct investment. As long as the electricity is used for the benefit of the country who is investing in the project does not matter. Secondly, Nepal should allow projects to be implemented by the investor/s (domestic or foreign) that will generate the electricity at the lowest cost. Nepal should purchase all such power (at lowest possible price) and electrify the nation massively (not just for lighting a few bulbs in houses, though) and export the electricity that Nepal is not able to consume at premium price (India had asked for 7 Indian rupees to export power from a plant in Tripura to Bangladesh[25]). What Nepal should do is, instead of dedicated export oriented power projects, she should plan to export energy during wet seasons and off peak hours when she needs to spill her electricity generation capacity while during the same window of time the electricity demand in south is at its peak, thus commanding premium tariff. In this manner we could easily get out of the trap of long term PPAs and also take advantage from the complementarity of electricity market of Nepal and India.
Nepal is facing the contradiction of having to pay higher price to import from India while exporting from Nepal at substantially lower rate. What is happening is a natural phenomenon in this kind of market. From the perspective of export of power from Nepal to India there is a monopsony[26] market condition and it is but natural that the importer enjoys “market power” and is able to dictate the price. Besides, in the power market it is also a fact of life that longer PPAs fetches lower prices while the shorter ones higher price. To illustrate the point, West Seti project has a longer PPA term, and has been given lower price while (reportedly of US 5 ¢), when Nepal imports power from India we do it for short term, and pay high price. Besides, it should be obvious to all that Nepal may, for example, not be able to use full generation of West Seti project only for first few years, after that Nepal will be in a position to use close to half of it. In about a dozen years, Nepal will definitely be able to use all electricity generated by this project. In view of this too, it is not advisable to get into longer term PPAs.
The hydropower licensing policy too needs improvement. According to the data availed by Department of Electricity Development, GoN, the status of survey licenses issued as of October 28, 2009 is as follows:
Table 9
Status of Survey Licenses as of October 28, 2009
It is interesting to note that the oldest license for project in the range of 1-10 MW was issued in September 2004. Similarly, in the 10-100 MW range the oldest license was issue in January 2005. Further, the oldest license for projects larger than 100 MW was issued in March 2005. For some projects the survey licenses were issued in early 2000 and were “reissued” after the licenses lapsed on expiry of 5-year license period. From this it can be fairly inferred that the “developers” securing licenses either don’t possess capability to mobilize financing or aren’t interested to actually implement the projects.
This state of affairs not only precluded the genuine developers/investors from implementing the projects and alleviating the electricity crisis but it also deprived GoN from revenue stream from capacity and energy royalty that would have flown in had these projects been implemented. Therefore, GoN policy needs to be amended to make it difficult for people without financial capability to hoard licenses; it has been seen that some licensees even don’t have necessary resource to conduct the survey (feasibility study). It is recommended that survey licenses be issued only after bank guarantee covering 10% of the cost of the project is furnished to GoN; the licensees to forfeit such guarantees if the project isn’t implemented at the end of the survey license period.
Infrastructure: Private investors have discovered that investment in electricity generation project is a lucrative business. However, they are constrained by lack of infrastructure like transmission network and access road. From a section of this paper above we have seen that private sector, indeed does have comparative advantage in building power plants both from the perspective of time and cost (in successfully avoiding time and cost overruns). Therefore, NEA should launch a campaign to build transmission network and if it is constrained by financial considerations, then she should, to use an old euphemism, beg, borrow or steal to build the transmission network where it enjoys both comparative and competitive advantage.
What is being forgotten here is the fact that India herself is facing an electricity crisis of a higher magnitude and it will not be easy for India to come to Nepal’s rescue when its own citizen are suffering. Moreover, the connection points proposed, across the border in India, like Gorakhpur, Purnea and Muzaffarpur are load centers suffering acute power deficit. The only exception is Silguri, which, unfortunately has not been prioritized. In reality, these cross border connections are being planned to be built to evacuate power from Nepal to India from the export-oriented projects already bagged by Indian developers or other developers in collaboration with Indian investors and some more that will be bagged. This becomes clear by looking at the highest priority accorded to Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur trans-border transmission line that will be used to evacuate power from Arun III and Tamakoshi projects in Nepal. Actually if one is to look at the concept closely, it is an excellent modality to make the NEA invest in erecting a transmission line for India to import power from Nepal. In the normal course, transmission lines are built by the importer or the developer of export-oriented power projects.What is being forgotten here is the fact that India herself is facing the electricity crisis by a higher magnitude and it will not be easy for them to come to Nepal’s rescue when its own citizen are suffering from it. Moreover, all the connection points proposed across the border in India, like Gorakhpur, Purnea and Muzaffarpur (except for Silguri), are load centers suffering power deficit. In reality, these cross border connections are being planned to be built to evacuate power from Nepal to India from the export oriented projects already bagged by Indian developers and some more that will be bagged. Actually if one is to look at the concept closely, it is an excellent modality to make NEA invest in erecting a transmission line for India to import power from Nepal. In the normal course transmission line is built by the importer or the developer of export oriented power project.
Delayed Completion of Projects: A part of the load shedding problem is attributable to construction delays. Implementation of hydropower projects by NEA is fraught with both cost overrun and time overrun risks as the experience shows. Therefore, the best use of national resource is to have hydropower projects implemented by private sector that seems to be able to implement projects effectively and efficiently both in terms of cost and time.
However, it doesn’t mean to say that NEA should not be involved in the construction of hydropower projects at all. What it needs to do is to learn lessons from the projects it was involved in the implementation in the past. All along NEA have had a spate of double trouble of suffering from both cost overrun and time overrun. In order to mitigate this problem NEA should review structure and content of construction/supply contracts that it signs with contractors and suppliers and adopt construction/supply contracts which are not open ended (fixed time and fixed price) – not affording any latitude for increase in cost or completion time (to use the popular phrase with no scope for any “variation order”).
System Mismatch: With the total installed capacity of over 687 MW now, the system is generating less than half of that during the dry season when the demand is at its peak, thereby creating electricity crisis. Nepal not only needs to have a reliable storage project in its stable but she should also supplement peak period demand by implementing daily pondage projects.
NEA should also seek the cooperation of private sector to solve the system mismatch problem, by introducing bulk time-of-day tariff besides the seasonal variation in the tariff as it has now adopted for projects of up to 25 MW. In other words, it should have provision for time-of-day tariff with seasonal variation for projects of all sizes such that building a storage (or daily pondage) project will become lucrative for the private sector too.
Investment friendly environment: In order to assess the role of investment friendly environment in the implementation of hydropower projects, it’s educative to compare the target and achievement of 9th and 10th five year plans. In 9th five year plan the target was set at 293 MW and the achievement was a heartwarming 91% as detailed below:
Table 10[27]
Target and Acheivement during 9th Plan
Apparently encouraged by the achievement of target of ninth five year plan, it was targeted to add 314 MW to the system in tenth five year plan period. However, the achievement was 39.71 MW only as detailed below:
Table 11
Target and Acheivement during 10th Plan
Besides, an array of reasons behind the plan failure as such, the main constraint during the period was the lack of investment friendly environment due to Maoist insurgency. Investment friendly environment, manifest in political stability and law and order is sine qua non to attract investment, especially in hydropower which is of capital intensive nature.
Loss control: NEA announced that its net system loss was 25.15% in 2007/08 and 26.71% in 2006/07[28]. This is total of both technical and non-technical loss. Technical loss can be significantly reduced by up to 7-8 percentage points by strengthening the transmission network which will definitely help in reducing load shedding duration. Currently, reduction of 1% loss is tantamount to conservation of approximately 7 MW of power (one could even say that is equal to adding 7 MW to the system). Its costs at least Rs 1 billion to add 7 MW but to strengthen transmission line to conserve 7 MW, it will cost less than Rs 50 million.
It is true that reduction of non technical loss will not help reduce duration of load shedding. But curtailing non technical loss will result in providing electricity to the consumers who are happy to pay instead of allowing someone else to steal it.
Smart Retail Tariff: At present NEA has a specific slab structure of tariff for all kinds of domestic consumers irrespective of whether their demand for electricity is elastic (whether consuming it for luxurious uses like operating air conditioner, refrigerator or laundry machine) or not (use it just to ward off darkness). It needs to introduce time of day tariff with seasonal variation to all consumers so that people will use less electricity when pressure on peak demand is high or those who prefer to continue with their luxurious life style with no concern for price should be made to pay higher tariff. Actually this is the best way to curb load shedding; allowing demand and supply to find an appropriate price.
Moreover, NEA has a social tariff of Rs 4/kWh up to 20 kWh – at which rate NEA doesn’t recover its cost (of generation, transmission plus distribution). Under the current policy the social tariff is not limited to indigent people only. In other words, NEA is availing this tariff to all domestic consumers across the board; irrespective of whether the power is being consumed for luxurious purposes or not and whether the consumer deserves the subsidized tariff or not. Therefore, NEA tariff should be amended to make social tariff available to only those who deserve it – poorest of the poor. Under a crude estimate, just with this one change NEA will earn incremental revenue of Rs 1 billion.
Encourage Private Sector to Install More Capacity: Due to increase in the cost of construction materials like steel, cement, etc. private developers are asking for an increase in bulk tariff NEA offers to the private sector. But NEA’s hands are bound as it is in no position to raise retail tariff without which it will be forced to incur loss of higher magnitude. The way out is to keep the bulk tariff at the same level but for GoN to exempt power projects from all import duties. GoN needs to understand that it doesn’t make sense for it GoN to earn revenue while NEA is hemorrhaging because NEA is also fully owned by GoN. Instead of revenue from duties, GoN should vie to reap benefit by the multiplier effects that will be caused by electrification of the country. To give a simple example, it is better to lose import revenue and have the country use more electricity from which more employment will generated, leading to rise in people’s incomes (they will pay income tax), peoples consumption will rise (from which government can collect excise duty and value added tax), etc. than attempt to collect revenue which will discourage implementation of hydropower projects leading to continued load shedding and the economy stagnating for lack of energy.
What the government needs to remember is that sacrifice of revenue by it to increase domestic consumption will eventually enrich the macro economy, hence the government, gaining from the multiplier effect on the economy due to forward linkages of electricity uses. Same is not true in the case of export oriented projects. If such import duty facilities were to be granted to export oriented projects, the economy not only loses the revenue stream from the tax and duties, but Nepal’s economy also is deprived of the benefit of economic linkages.
It is rather tragicomic to have a country like Nepal, richly endowed with water resources, suffer from the problem of load shedding. Almost a case of paucity in the midst of plenty (actually not really true as only generation potential is there but the shortage is due to no generation) which is parallel to another cliché: water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink (a little closer to truth). Besides, the problem is not too difficult to solve if only the hydrocracy (intelligentsia, politicos and bureaucracy involved in hydropower sector) starts to think outside the box. The problem is rooted in the tunnel vision. Because, although NEA has promised respite from it by 2013/14, it is clear from above discussion that even if the projects in the “pipeline” are commissioned by the promised date, the load shedding will not vanish. If projects, god forbid, do not materialize as envisaged, time will come when people will start talking about when will the electricity be available (like water in the taps), rather than when electricity will not be available.
The load shedding is not happening because the decision makers are unable to figure out what will be the demand for the years to come or such data is not available to them. If the status quo is to continue, then Nepal will be condemned to have it as a standard phenomenon, because correct decisions – with regard to policy as well as with regard to when to start implementation of specific project to augment generation capacity – are not taken at appropriate time, the bureaucracy is unable to ensure that the projects under implementation are completed within expected time. The need of the hour is to have a paradigm shift.
Ratna Sansar Shrestha
[1] Due to unavailability of relevant data for last fiscal year (2008/9), this paper is being written on the basis of data of FY 2007/8.
[2] Source: Load Dispatch Center of NEA
[3] Availability shown here is machine and water availability but due to flood, debris and sediments during this rainy season, availability may be affected in real time.
[4] Independent Power Producers
[5] Source: Fiscal Year 2007/08 – a Year in Review of NEA.
[6] Source: Load Dispatch Centre, NEA
[7] The load shedding hours increased exponentially to 16 hrs a day during the dry season of FY 2008/9.
[8] In FY 2008/9 the demand increased by 90.47 MW while only 71.975 MW was added to the system. However, the deficit between demand and supply wasn’t merely 19 MW as the added capacity to the system would generate at less than 50% of the capacity during the peak season.
[9] Source: NEA
[10] Source: NEA
[11] Source: of June 2007.
[12] “Toe” stands for tons of oil equivalent.
[13] Source: Ministry of Finance, Economic Survey 2006/7. As government of Nepal (GoN) is yet to publish Economic Survey for 2007/08, this paper is based on one year old publication.
[14] On the condition that Middle Marsyangdi, 70 MW will be completed in 2008/09 (it was actually inaugurated by PM Prachanda in December 2008).
[15] Source: Fiscal Year 2007/08 – a Year in Review of NEA.
[16] Shrestha, R.S., 2009, Arun-III Project: Nepal’s Electricity Crisis and its Role in Current Load Shedding and Potential Role 10 Years Hence in Hydro Nepal: Journal of Water, Energy and Environment, Vol. 4.
[17] Source: Fiscal Year 2007/08 – a Year in Review of NEA.
[18] Nexant SARI/Energy. October 2003. “Economic Impact of Poor Power Quality on Industry: Nepal.”
[19] As the calorific value of 1 liter diesel is between 3 kWh to 3.5 kWh.
[20] The noise pollution, especially in malls and supermarkets, is unbearably high when these generators are operated.
[21] NEA, 2009. System Operation – A Year in Retrospect.
[22] Source: Fiscal Year 2007 – a Year in Review of NEA
[23] 70 MW Middle Marsyangdi was commissioned in December 2008.
[24] Source : Water and Energy Commission Secretariat, GoN, 2002
[25] Power import from India unlikely for high tariff, Bangladesh News (Dec 14, 2007). URL
[26] “Monopsony” is a market situation when there is single buyer; contrasted from monopoly market in which many buyers vie to purchase from single seller.
[27] This table and the one immediately following was compiled by the author on the basis of information from National Planning Commission and NEA.
[28] Source: Fiscal year 2007/09 – A year in review of NEA
Published in Issue # 6 of Hydro Nepal: Journal of Water, Energy and Environment in January 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

माथिल्लो कर्णाली जलबिद्युत आयोजना र राष्ट्रिय स्वाधिनता

३ सय मेगावाट जडित क्षमताको माथिल्लो कर्णाली आयोजनामा प्रति सेकेन्ड २ सय ३६ घन मिटर पानी १ सय ४१ मिटर उंचाईबाट खसालेर वार्षिक १ अर्ब ९१ करोड युनिट बिजुली निकाल्ने अवधारणा सहित डिजायन तैयार गर्ने लगायतका कागजी काम हुंदैछ । यस्तोमा हालै माओबादी दलले गरेको बिरोध र आएका प्रतिकृयाहरु पृष्ठभूमिमा यस सम्बन्धमा बिबेचना गर्न वान्छनिय भएकोछ ।

नेपाल सरकारको उर्जा मन्त्रालयले छपाएको विज्ञापनमा "राज्यले अधिकतम लाभ लिने गरेर आयोजना प्रबद्र्धन गर्नदिइएको" भनिएकोछ भने "वर्तमान लोडसेिडंगले देशमा निम्त्याएको आर्थिक सामाजिक लगायत विभिन्न संकट निवारणको लागि" यो आयोजना तिब्र गतिमा बन्नु अपरिहार्य छ भन्दै "हाल देशमा भईरहेको चरम उर्जा संकटको बेलामा जलबिद्युतको विकासमा अवरोध" दुर्भाग्य हो भनेर "स्वतंत्र उर्जा उत्पादकहरुको संस्था नेपाल"ले बिज्ञापन छापेकोछ । यस सन्दर्भमा यो आयोजनाबाट राज्यले सांच्चिकै अधिकतम लाभ प्राप्त गर्छ कि गर्दैन र यो आयोजना बनेमा देशमा बिद्यमान चरम उर्जा संकटको समाधान भई आर्थिक सामाजिक लगायत विभिन्न संकट निवारण हुन्छ कि हुन्न भन्ने परिक्षण गर्न आवश्यक भएकोछ ।

बिद्यमान उर्जा संकट निराकणमा यो आयोजनाको भूमिका
निकासीमूलक रुपमा प्रबद्र्धकलाई दिइएकोमा यस आयोजना सम्झौता अनुसार बाह्र प्रतिशत बिजुली नेपालले निशुल्क पाउनेछ । हाल बिद्यमान उर्जा संकट निराकणको लागि नैं ३६ मेगावाट भनेको हात्तिको मुखमा जिराको आहान जस्तै हो भने पांच वर्षमा तयार भएमा यो परिमाणको बिजुलीले नेपालमा लोडसेिडंग घटाउन कुनै भूमिका खेल्दैन । तसर्थ यो आयोजना नबनेर लोड सेिडंग नघट्ने वा बढ्ने भन्ने कुरा अतिशयोक्ति मात्र हो यथार्थ होइन । ल्हासा जान कताको बाटो भने जस्तो मात्र हो ।

निकासीमूलक बनाउनु अघि यो आयोजना नेपाललाई आवश्यक छ कि छैन भन्ने बिचार गर्नुपर्नेमा गरिएन । अहिले बिद्युत संकट उत्कर्षमा पुगेको बेलामा २०१३/१४ सम्ममा लोड सेिडंग इतिहाँसको पन्नामा सीमित हुने ठोकुवा गरिएकोछ जुन भनाइ पुष्टी हुन जरुरी छ । नेपाल बिद्युत प्राधिकरणले २०१३/१४ मा १२ सय ७१ मेगावाट बिजुली मांग हुने प्रक्षेपण गरेकोछ । अर्को तिर प्राधिकरणले ४ सय ५६ मेगावाटको माथिल्लो तामाकोशी, ३० मेगावाटको चमेलिया, १४ मेगावाटको कुलेखानी तेश्रो, ३० मेगावाटको राहुघाट, ६० मेगावाटको माथिल्लो त्रिशुली ३ए, ४० मेगावाटको माथिल्लो त्रिशुली ३बी र ४२ मेगावाटको माथिल्लो मोदी ए समेत गरेर ६ सय ७२ मेगावाट जडित क्षमता थप्ने भनेकोछ । साथै निजी क्षेत्रबाट ११ मेगावाटको माथिल्लो सान्जेन, ३५ मेगावाटको सान्जेन, ८० मेगावाटको भोटेकोशी, ७५ मेगावाटको रसुवागढी, ३० मेगावाटको काबेली ए र ५० मेगावाटको माथिल्लो मस्यार्ंदी समेत गरेर २८१ मेगावाट थप हुने अपेक्षित छ । अनि यस आयोजनाबाट ३६ मेगावाट, पश्चिम सेतीबाट ७५ मेगावाट र अरुण तेश्रोबाट ८८ मेगावाट समेतबाट जम्मा १ सय ९९ मेगावाट निशुल्क उर्जा प्राप्त हुनेछ । यसरी अहिले भएको ६ सय ८९ मेगावाटमा ११ सय ५२ मेगावाट थपिएर जम्मा १८ सय ४१ मेगावाट जडित क्षमता पुग्नेछ । सतहिरुपमा हेर्दा प्रक्षेपित मांग १२ सय ७१ मेगावाट भन्दा जडित क्षमता केहि बढी हुने हुनाले संकटबाट सांच्चिकै मुक्ति पाइने भ्रम हुन्छ । तर जडित क्षमता जम्मा १८ सय ४१ मेगावाट भएमा बिद्युत उत्पादन ९ सय मेगावाट भन्दा कम मात्र भएर सुख्खायाममा लोडसेिडंगले निरन्तरता पाउनेछ खाली अवधि मात्र केहि कम हुनेछ । तर यी आयोजनाहरु समयमा सम्पन्न भएन भने त समस्याले विकराल रुप लिन्छ नैं । तसर्थ अहिलेको दूरदृष्टिपूर्ण सोच (vision) को अभाव तथा बिद्यमान नीति तथा कार्यनीतिले निरन्तरता पाउन्जेल नेपालले उर्जा संकटबाट निकट भविष्यमा मुक्ती पाउनेदेिखंदैन यो आयोजना बने पनि ।

यस पृष्ठभूमिमा अधिकांश बिजुली भारत निकासी गरेर चरम उर्जा संकटबाट नेपालले उन्मुक्ति पाउने अपेक्षा गर्नु सुन्निएकोलाई मोटाएको ठान्नु जत्तिकै हो । तसर्थ बिद्यमान आयोजनाको नेपालको संकट समाधानसंग कुनै सम्बन्ध छैन र हालको बिरोध/अवरोधले नेपालको चरम उर्जा संकट समाधानमा व्यवधान ल्याउंदैन ।

कतिले यो आयोजनाको बिजुली नेपालमा खपत हुन्न भन्दै यसलाई निकासीमूलक बनाउनुको पृष्ठपोषण गर्छन् जुन सांचो होइन । सुदूर पश्चिमााचल र मध्य पश्चिमााचलमा पाइने, उदाहरणार्थ चुन ढुंगा खानीहरुमा आधारित गरेर सिमन्टी उद्योगहरु स्थापना गरेमा यसको अधिकांश उत्पादन त्यिहं खपत हुन्छ र देशमा औद्योगिकरण मात्र नभएर रोजगारी पनि श्रृजना हुन्छ । विकास निर्माणको लागि आवश्यक सिमन्टी पनि देश भित्रै यथेष्टरुपमा उपलब्ध भएर देश आत्मनिर्भताको बाटोमा लाग्छ र उक्त क्षेत्र समृद्धशाली बन्नेछ । खपत नभएर उब्रेको बिजुली राजधानी लगायत पूर्वी भेगमा आपूर्ति गर्न सकिन्छ । कतिपय प्राविधिकले यो सम्भव छैन भन्छन् जुन पनि सत्य होइन । ४ सय किलोभोल्टको प्रशारण प्रणाली निर्माण गरे उक्त क्षेत्रमा खपत नभएको बिजुली अन्यत्र पुर् याउन सकिन्छ भुटानबाट भारत पुर् याए जस्तै ।

अझ गहिरिएर हेरिएमा प्राधिकरणको मांग-प्रक्षेपण नैं यथार्थपरक छैन । किनभने प्राधिकरणले यो वर्षको उच्चतम मांग ८ सय ७८ मेगावाट प्रक्षेपण गरेको छ तर यथार्थमा अहिलेकै मांग यो भन्दा धेरै बढी छ । मोरङ्ग-सुन्सरी, मकवानपुर-बारा-पसा्र, नवलपरासी-रुपन्देही लगायतका जिल्लाहरुमा अवस्थित उद्योगहरुलाई यथेष्ट बिजुली उपलब्ध नभएर पूर्ण क्षमतामा उत्पादन नभएको मात्र होइन कतिपय उद्योगहरु बन्द छन् जसको लागि तत्काल ६ सय मेगावाट थप आवश्यक छ । डा. अमृत नकर्मीको विष्लेशनमा काठमाडौं उपत्यकामा मात्रै खाना पकाउने ग्यांस बिस्थापित गर्न ६ सय ४८ मेगावाट चाहिन्छ । यसरी नेपालको तत्कालको मांग नैं २१ सय मेगावाट भन्दा बढी छ । यसै आधारमा प्राधिकरणले प्रयोग गर्दै आएको बृद्धि दरमा मांग-प्रक्षेपण गरेमा ५ वर्ष पछि नेपालको उच्चतम मांग ३ हजार मेगावाट भन्दा बढी हुन्छ । बिजुली बढी खपत हुने उद्योग स्थापना गरेमा र यातायातलाई बिद्युतिकरण गरिएमा अझ बढी खपत हुने अवस्था छ । बिजुली खपत हुने अन्य प्रमुख क्षेत्रहरुमा कृषि, कृषिजन्य उद्योग आदि हुन । यस्तोमा आन्तरिक खपतको लागि १६ सय मेगावाट मात्र उपलब्ध हुंदा अकल्पनिय परिमाणमा लोड सेिडंग गर्नुपर्नेछ ।

तर दुर्भाग्य के हो भने भारतमा बिजुली निकासी गरेर नेपालको विकास हुन्छ भनेर उर्जा मन्त्री लगायतले विश्वास गर्छन् । बिजुली प्रयोग गरेर औद्योगिकरण रोजगारी श्रृजना भारतमा हुन्छ अनि विकास नेपालमा हुन्छ भन्ठान्नु छिमेकीले खाएर आफ्नो पेट भरिने जस्तो कुरा हो । नेपाल भित्रैबाट लगानि परिचालन गरेर यो आयोजना बनाएको भए यो आयोजनाबाट प्राप्त हुने मुनाफा सम्म नेपाल भित्रै रहन्थ्यो । अवस्था त्यो पनि छैन । तसर्थ यो आयोजना बनेर नेपालको बिकास हुन्छ भनेर सोझा सीधा नेपालीलाई झुक्याउन कोशिस भईरहेको स्पष्ट छ ।

बिस्मातको कुरा के हो भने यो आयोजना बनेपछि नेपालको लोडसेिडंग घट्छ भन्ने कुप्रचार यति सफलतापूर्वक गरिएको रहेछ कि सुशिक्षित जनसाधारण पनि माओबादीबाट गलत काम भएकोमा बिश्वास गरेको देख्दा । यो तप्का नैं यसरी भ्रमित छ भने शिक्षाको अवसर नपाएका बहुसंख्यक नेपालीको धारणा के होला भन्ने बुझ्न धेरै कल्पना गर्नुपर्दैन । तसर्थ माओबादी बिरोधले गर्दा यथार्थमा नेपाल र नेपालीको समुचित हितको लागि यो आयोजनाको पुनःसंरचना हुनसकेमा अधिकांश नेपाली यो दलप्रति आभारी हुने अवस्था छ ।

जनसाधारणलाई जानकारी हुन पर् यो कि यो आयोजना बनेतापनि नेपाली घरमा लोडसेिडंग घट्दैन, भारतीय घरमा घट्छ । यो आयोजनाबाट सस्तोमा भारतमा बिजुली आपूर्ति हुन्छ र नेपाल सरकारले भारतीय सरकारलाई खुशी पारेमा नेपाली घरमा भारतबाट आयातित महंगो बिजुली आउनेछ ।

शोधनान्तर घाटा र बिजुली निर्यात
नेपालको शोधनान्तर घाटा उत्तरोत्तररुपमा बढेकोछ र बिगत देखि नैं बिजुली निर्यात गरेर यो घाटा घटाउन सकिने दाबी नेपालका स्वनाम धनी अर्थशास्त्रीहरुले गर्दै आएकाछन् । सायद यसैलाई इंगित गर्दै यो आयोजना सम्पन्न भए नेपालका ूआर्थिक सामाजिक लगायत विभिन्न संकट निवारणू हुने सपना स्वतंत्र उर्जा उत्पादकहरुको संस्थाले गरेकोछ । प्रति युनिट रु २ मा निकासी भएमा वार्षिक ३ अर्ब ३६ करोड रुपैया यो आयोजनाका प्रबद्र्धकले पाउनेछ र यति रकमले नैं नेपालको शोधनान्तर घाटा घट्ने निष्कर्श अर्थशास्त्रीहरुको छ । यो सांचो होइन । नेपाल सरकारलाई तिर्नु पर्ने रोयल्टी ३५ करोड ७८ लाख रुपैया र २० प्रतिशत लाभांश घोषणा भएमा प्राधिकरणले प्राप्त गर्ने रु २५ करोड मात्र नेपाल प्रवेश गर्छ । बांकी रकम संचालन मर्मत सम्भार खर्च ऋणको सांवा ब्याज तिर्न र भारतीय लगानिकर्ताको भागको लाभांश स्वरुप बिदेशिन्छ नेपालमा अड्दैन । भारतसंग व्यापार/परिवहन सन्धी गर्ने बेलामा व्यापारीहरुले चर्कोरुपमा मांग गरे अनुरुप चीनबाट आयात गरेर भारत निकासी गर्दा शोधनान्तर घाटा घट्छ भन्ने दरिद्र सोच जत्तिकै हो यो भनाई पनि ।

उर्जा संकट समाधानको लागि भारतबाट आयात
माथिको छलफलबाट स्पष्ट भईसकेकोछ कि अहिलेको दूरदृष्टिपूर्ण सोचको अभाव त्रुटिपूर्ण बिद्यमान नीति तथा कार्यनीतिले निरन्तरता पाएमा आगामि पुस्ताहरुले पनि उर्जा संकट भोग्न पर्ने निश्चित छ । यस्तोमा अहिलेको उर्जा संकटबाट मुक्तीको लागि भनेर भारतीय मुद्रा ६ रुपैया ७० पैसामा ३० मेगावाट बिजुली पैठारी गरिएकोछ जुन सीमानामैं १० रुपैंया ७२ पैसा पर्छ जसले भारतमाथिको निर्भरता अझ अरु बढ्छ । निर्भरता आफैमा खराब होइन तर बिजुलीलाई सामरिक वस्तु मान्ने नीति भारतले लिएको पृष्ठभूमिमा यो राष्ट्रिय स्वाधीनताको दृष्टिकोणले खतरनाक हुनसक्छ । यसै वर्ष बैशाखमा कटुवालकाण्ड उत्कर्षमा पुग्दा ३० मेगावाट नेपाललाई उपलब्ध गराउन अरु सबै सहमत भएपनि बिदेश मामला मन्त्रालयले अन्तिम क्षणमा असहमति जनाएको लगत्तै प्रचण्ड सरकार ढलेको स्मरणिय छ । अझ २०४५/४६ सालमा भारतले नाकाबन्दी गरेर नेपालीलाई आक्रांत पारेबाट पनि परनिर्भरताको कारणले आईलाग्ने समस्या प्रति जागरुक हुन जरुरी छ र आत्मनिर्भरतामा राष्ट्रिय स्वाधीनता निहित हुन्छ भन्ने पनि बुझ्नु जरुरी छ ।

४०० किलोभोल्टको प्रशारण प्रणाली
आफ्नो देश भित्रै प्रचुर श्रोत हुंदाहुंदै पनि भारत माथिको निर्भरता अस्थायि समेत होइन भन्ने कुरा बिजुली पैठारी गर्नकै लागि भनेर ढल्केबाटर-मुजफ्फरपुर ४०० किलोभोल्टको प्रशारण प्रणाली निर्माणाधीन रहेबाट प्रमाणित हुन्छ । तर नेपाली नेतृत्व र कर्मचारीतन्त्रले के भुलेको देखियो भने बिहार पनि उर्जा संकटको मारमा छ र प्रशारण प्रणाली बनें पनि आफु अंध्यारोमा बसेर नेपाललाई सरलतापूर्वक बिजुली उपलब्ध गराउने मुर्खता गर्ने अपेक्षा गर्नु नेपालकै मुर्खता हुनेछ; नेपालले जस्तै आफु अंध्यारोमा बसेर पनि बिजुली भारतलाई निर्यात गर्ने आयोजना निर्माण गर्न दिने जस्तो अल्पबुद्धिको काम भारतले गर्ने छैन ।

यदि भारतबाट सांच्चिकै बिद्युत आयात गर्नेभए पश्चिम बंगालको सिलगुरी सबस्टेशनमा आबद्ध गर्ने गरेर बनाउनु पथ्र्यो जहां मनग्गे बिजुली उपलब्ध छ । भारतले यो नचाहनु आश्चर्यको कुरा नभएपनि नेपालीले यो नबुझ्नु चािहं निश्चय पनि दुखको कुरा हो । नेपाललाई यो प्रणालीमा लगानि गर्न लगाउनुको अभिष्ट स्पष्ट छ जुन नेपालको नेतृत्व र कर्मचारीतन्त्रलाई प्रष्ट नभएको देखियो । अरुण तेश्रो तामाकोशी तेश्रो लिखु लगायतका आयोजनाबाट बिजुली भारत पुर् याउन यो प्रशारण प्रणाली आवश्यक छ । सामान्यतया बिजुली पैठारी गर्नेले वा निकासीमूलक आयोजना निर्माण गर्नेले लागत व्यहोर्ने गरेर प्रशारण प्रणाली बनाइन्छ तर नेपाल भने यसको ठीक बिपरित वस्तुतः बिजुली निकासीमा उपयोग हुने प्रशारण प्रणालीमा लगानि गर्दैछ बिजुली आयात गर्न पाइन्छ भन्ने भ्रममा ।

यस्तोमा उक्त प्रणालीको शिलान्यास गर्दै उर्जा मन्त्रीको २ वर्ष भित्र लोडसेिडंडबाट मुक्ती पाइने दाबी सुन्दा ब्यंग हो कि कटाक्ष हो भनेर छुट्याउन कठीन भएकोछ । त्यसमा पनि निर्माणको काम समयमा सम्पन्न भएमा केहि बिजुली प्राप्त हुने हो लोडसेिडंग नैं निवारण गर्नको लागि हैन । अचम्म त के हुने छैन भने यो प्रणाली त्यति बेला मात्र तैयार हुनेछ जतिबेला माथि उल्लिखित निकासीमूलक आयोजनाहरुबाट बिजुली उत्पादन प्रारम्भ हुनेछ ।

बजारको अभावमा विकल्परहित निकासी
यस पंक्तिकारलाई विषेश गरेर उद्वेलित पार्ने नेपाली नेतृत्व र कर्मचारीतन्त्रको भनाई के हो भने नेपालमा बिजुलीको बजार छैन र भारत निकासी गर्नु नैं नेपालको आर्थिक सम्भाव्य भनिएको ४३ हजार मेगावाट क्षमताको सदुपयोग हो । यो भनाई बिलकुलै सत्य होइन । कुन मुलुकले के कति बिद्युतिय उर्जा खपत गर्छ भन्ने जानकारी राखिएको नेशनमाष्टरडटकम ९लबतष्यलुबकतभच।अयु० नामक इन्टरनेट साइटमा उपलब्ध आंकडा अनुसार सन् २००६ मा नेपालमा प्रति व्यक्ति बिजुली खपत ७० किलोवाट÷घण्टा युनिट को हाराहारीमा थियो भने सबभन्दा धेरै खपत गर्ने मुलुक आइसलाय्ण्डमां प्रति व्यक्ति खपत ३१ हजार युनिट भन्दा बढी थियो । नेपालको हालको जनसंख्यालाई प्रति व्यक्ति खपत १० हजार युनिट विश्वको उच्चतम खपतको एक तिहाई मात्र पुर् याउन पनि ५७ हजार मेगावाट जडित क्षमता आवश्यक हुन्छ जुन आर्थिक रुपमा सम्भाव्य भनिएको भन्दा धेरै बढी हो ।

नेपालले अधिकतम् लाभ लिने
राज्यले अधिकतम लाभ लिने गरेर आयोजना प्रबद्र्धन गर्नदिइएको भन्ने नेपाल सरकारको भनाईलाई पनि कसीमा घोट्न बेला भएकोछ । ६० मेगावाट क्षमताको खिम्तीको लागि १३ किलोमिटर सुरुंग खनियो र प्रति किलोवाट लागत २३ सय डलर परेको सूचना छ भने ६ किलोमिटर सुरुंग भएको कालीगण्डी १४४ मेगावाटको लागत २७ सय डलर पर् यो भनिन्छ । त्यस्तै ४ किलोमिटर भन्दा कम सुरुंग भएको ३६ मेगावाटको भोटेकोशीको लागत २ हजार डलर हो भने ३ किलोमिटर भन्दा केहि कम सुरुंग भएको २० मेगावाटको चिलिमेको लागत १५ सय डलर । यसबाट सुरुंगको लम्बाई आयोजनाको क्षमता र प्रति किलोवाट लागत बीच गहिरो अन्तरसम्बन्ध भएको देखिन्छ ।

यो आयोजना नेपालको लागि प्रकृतिको अतुल्य वरदान हो जुन बहुमूल्य छ । यसको लागि अढाई किलोमिटर मात्र सुरुंग खन्नु पर्छ र प्रति किलोवाट निर्माण लागत ८ सय ३३ डलर मात्र लाग्ने आकलन छ जुन कारणले उत्पादित बिजुलीको लागत अत्यधिक कम हुन्छ । प्रति किलोवाट १६ सय डलर लागत पर्ने पश्चिम सेती आयोजनाको बिजुली भारतमा रु ४ भन्दा कममा निकासी गर्ने बन्दोबस्त भएको परिप्रेक्ष्यमा यो आयोजनाको बिजुली रु २ भन्दा कममा निकासी हुने निश्चित छ ।

बितेको दशकमा प्राधिकरणले निर्माण गरेको १ सय ६५ मेगावाटको प्रति किलोवाट औसत लागत २५ सय ८० डलर परेको पृष्ठभूमिमा उपभोक्तालाई बिक्री गरेको बिजुलीको लागत झण्डै रु ९ को हाराहारीमा पर्छ । अनि नेपाल सरकारले सगर्व बताएकोछ कि भारतीय मुद्रा ६ रुपैया ७० पैसामा ३० मेगावाट बिजुली पैठारी गरिएकोछ जुन प्राधिकरणलाई सीमानामैं १० रुपैंया ७२ पैसा पर्न आउंछ । भारतबाट बिद्युत आदान-प्रदान सस्तो दरमा हुन्छ भनिएतापनि यसको पनि प्रति युनिट भारतीय मुद्रा ४ रुपैया ८८ पैसा पर्छ जुन ७ रुपैया ८१ पैसा हुन्ंछ ।

माथिको पृष्ठभूमिबाट के स्पष्ट हुन आउंछ भने नेपाली महंगा आयोजनाबाट उत्पादित र महंगैमा आयातित बिजुली त्यो पनि अपुग परिमाणमा उपभोग गर्न बाध्य छन् भने अती सस्तो दरमा उपलब्ध हुने बिजुली भारतमा आपूर्ति गर्ने तारतम्य मिलाइएकोछ । यस्तोमा राज्यले अधिकतम लाभ कसरी हासिल गर्छ बुझ्न कठीन छ । निम्न पंक्तिमा छलफल गरिएका अन्य कारणलाई उपेक्षा गर्दा पनि नेपाली जनताले यो आयोजनाको बिरोध गर्नुपर्छ । यहि ढर्राले निरन्तरता पाएमा त्यो समय टाढा छैन जति बेला नेपालबाट सस्तोमा बिजुली भारत निकासी हुनेछ र संकट टार्ने नाममा महँगोमा भारतबाट त्यहि बिजुली पैठारी गरिनेछ । यस्तो सम्भावनालाई निर्मुल पार्न पनि यो आयोजनाको बिरोध हुनुपर्छ ।

कम जडित क्षमतामा निहित धोका
प्राधिकरणले गराएकै संभाव्यता अध्ययन अनुसार यो आयोजनाको पूर्ण क्षमता जलाशययुक्त ४ हजार १ सय ८० मेगावाट हो जसको लागि २ सय ६० मिटर उचाईको बाँध निर्माण गर्नुपर्छ । तैपनि थोरै क्षमताको अनुमतिपत्र मांगॆको तथा दिएको अवस्था छ । यसरी आयोजना कार्यान्वयन भएमा आगामि दिनमा नेपालले यो आयोजना स्थलमा पूर्ण क्षमताको आयोजना बनाउनबाट बंचित हुनेछ र यसले गर्दा नेपाल धेरै हिसाबले ठगिने निश्चित छ ।

बिद्यमान बिद्युत ऐनमा प्रति किलोवाट सय रुपैयाले क्षमता रोयल्टी र कूल बिजुली बिक्रीको २ प्रतिशत उर्जा रोयल्टी लिने व्यवस्था भएतापनि यो आयोजना निकासीमूलक हुनाले सम्पन्न समझौतामा क्रमसः प्रति किलोवाट ४ सय रुपैया र कूल बिजुली बिक्री आम्दानीको साँढे ७ प्रतिशत लिने व्यवस्था छ जुन जलबिद्युत विकास नीति २०५८ अनुसार हो । ३०० मेगावाट क्षमताको निर्माण भएर २ सय ६४ मेगावाटको १ अर्ब ६८ करोड युनिट निकासी हुंदा नेपाल सरकारले कूल रोयल्टी वार्षिक रु ३५ करोड ७८ लाख रुपैया पाउने देखिन्छ यदि प्रति युनिट बिजुली २ रुपैयामा निकासी गरिएमा ।

तर यो आयोजनालाई यसको पूर्ण क्षमता ४ हजार १ सय ८० मेगावाटमा निर्माण गरेर हाल भएकै समझदारी अनुरुप १२ प्रतिशत बिजुली नेपाललाई निशुल्क दिइएमा ३ हजार ६ सय ७८ मेगावाटको १५ अर्ब युनिट बिजुली निकासी हुन्छ । माथि उल्लिखित नीति बमोजिम जलाशययुक्त निकासीमूलक आयोजनाको सम्बन्धमा क्रमसः रु ५ सय प्रति किलोवाट र बिक्रीको १० प्रतिशतको हिसाबले नेपाल सरकारले कूल रोयल्टी वार्षिक रु ४ अर्ब ८४ करोड २३ लाख रुपैया पाउने देखिन्छ । यसरी रोयल्टी मात्रै झण्डै वार्षिक सांढे ४ अर्ब रुपैया ठगिने अवस्थामा नेपाल पुग्छ र यस्तो चक्रब्यूहमा नेपाल नफँसोस भनेर बिरोध गरिएको हो भने त्यसलाई अन्यथा मान्नु बुद्धिमानि हुन्न ।

निशुल्क उर्जामा निहित मगन्ते नीित
निशुल्क उर्जा प्राप्त गर्ने नीतिलाई यस पंक्तिकार मगन्ते नीति मान्छ । यस पंक्तिकारको धारणामा त्यस्तो नीति नेपालको हितमा हुनेथियो जस अन्तर्गत यस्ता उत्कृष्ट आयोजनाहरुबाट सबभन्दा छिटो बिजुली उत्पादन गर्न सक्षमलाई निर्माण गर्नदिएर सम्पूर्ण उर्जा नेपालले सबभन्दा कमदरमा खरिद गरेर आफ्ना जनतालाई सर्वसुलभ तरीकाबाट सुपथ मूल्यमा मनग्गे उपलब्ध गराएर बांकी बचेउब्रेको भारतमा प्रतिश्पद्र्धात्मक दरमा निकासी गरिन्छ । यस्तो नीति अवलम्बन गरेमा देशमा औद्योगिकरण तथा रोजगारी श्रृजना हुनाको साथै उर्जा संकट नहुने मात्र नभएर समुचित दरमा बांकी बिजुली निकासीबाट सरकारको कोष पनि भरिपूर्ण हुने अवस्था हुन्छ । तर यो कुरा नेतृत्व तथा कर्मचारीतन्त्रलाई बुझाउन सकिएन र हाल सम्मका सरकारहरु निशुल्क उर्जाका पछाडी लिगलिगे दौडमा निरन्तर लागे ।
यस सम्बन्धमा केहि थप प्रकाश पार्नु सान्दर्भिक छ । २१ सय ३७ डलर प्रति किलोवाट लागत पर्ने अरुण तेश्रो आयोजनाबाट २१ दशमलव ९ प्रतिशत निशुल्क उर्जा प्राप्त गर्ने बन्दोबस्त भएकोमा ८ सय ३३ डलर मात्र लाग्ने आयोजनाबाट १२ प्रतिशत मात्र निशुल्क उर्जा प्राप्त गर्नु पनि नेपालको हितमा छ भनेर मान्न सकिनन । अढाई गुणा सस्तो आयोजनाबाट झण्डै आधै कम मात्र निशुल्क उर्जा प्राप्त गर्नु उल्टो िहंड्नुको पराकाष्ठा हो । लागत कम भएको अनुपातमा निशुल्क उर्जा समानुपातिकरुपमा बढी लिनेगरेर निशुल्क उर्जा लिने मगन्ते नीतिमा परिमार्जन गर्ने राम्रै गुाजायस देखिन्छ ।

स्मरणिय के छ भने गलत नीति नैं भए पनि यो आयोजना यसको पूर्ण क्षमतामा निमार्ण भएमा ५ सय १ मेगावाटबाट २ अर्ब युनिट बिजुली निशुल्क प्राप्त हुने थियो । तर कम क्षमतामा अनुमतिपत्र िदंदा ३६ मेगावाटको २२ करोड युनिट मात्र निशुल्क प्राप्त हुने अवस्था छ ।

माओबादीले अवरोध गरेको सन्दर्भमा प्रबद्र्धकले यो आयोजना नेपालकै पनि भनेर व्यापक प्रचार गरेकोछ । यो पनि मगन्ते नीति अन्तर्गतै भएको जानकारी अधिकांश पाठकलाई नहुनसक्छ । आलोच्य नीति भएतापनि नेपालले अधिकतम निशुल्क बिजुली प्राप्त गर्ने तर्फ नलागेर २७ प्रतिशत निशुल्क शेयर पूंजी प्राधिरकणले पाउने पनि व्यवस्था छ । यसबाट नेपालको फाईदा १२ र २७ जोडेर ३९ प्रतिशत हो भनेर पनि भ्रमित पार्न खोजिएकोछ जुन सत्य होइन । माथि उल्लिखित दरमा १२ प्रतिशत उर्जाको मूल्य झण्डै ४४ करोड रुपैया हुन्छ र ३९ प्रतिशत निशुल्क उर्जा पाएको भए १ अर्ब ५० करोड मूल्यको उर्जा प्राप्त हुनुपथ्र्यो । तर शेयर पूंजीमा मुनाफामा भएमा मात्र प्रतिफल प्राप्त हुन्छ भन्ने कुरासंग धेरै नेपाली अभ्यस्त छन् । आयोजना कुशलतापूवर्क संचालित भएर २० प्रतिशत लाभांश बांडिएमा प्राधिकरणले पाउने २५ करोड रुपैया मात्र हो । तर मुनाफा नदेखाउने अवस्था विकास हुने÷गर्ने सम्भावना प्रबल हुनाले २७ प्रतिशत शेयर पूंजीबाट लाभ भनेको प्राधिकरणका पदाधिकारी प्रबद्र्धक कम्पनीको संचालक समितिको बैठकमा सहभागिता जनाए बापत पाउने बैठक भत्ता तथा दैनिक भ्रमण भत्तामा सीमित हुनेछ ।

अझ बेस्वादिलो के छ भने यस्तो निशुल्क पूंजी प्रबद्र्धकले नेपालको तर्फबाट नगद लगानि गरेर शेयर प्रमाणपत्र दिने होइन भन्ने कुरा नबुझेको देख्दा । आयोजनाको लागत २५ करोड डलर हुनाले प्रति डलर रु ७५ को हिसाबले कूल लागत पौने १९ अर्बको रुपैयांको ७५ प्रतिशत वित्तिय संस्थाबाट ऋण लिइएमा ४ अर्ब ६८ करोड रुपैया कूल शेयर पूंजीको नेपालले पाउने भनेको २७ प्रतिशत निशूल्क पूंजी बापत १ अर्ब २६ करोड रुपंया प्रबद्र्धकले हालिदिने होइन । यति रकम कागजी खर्च देखाइएर आयोजनाको लागत बृद्धि गरेर शेयर प्रमाणपत्र उपलब्ध गराइनेछ र यो कारणले समेत आयोजनाले नेपाललाई दिने प्रतिफलमा ह्रास हुनेछ ।

भारतीय कम्पनीले भारतमा नेपालबाट सस्तोमा बिजुली निकासी गरेबापत अन्य व्यवस्था भएमा आश्चर्य मान्नु पर्दैन । अझ विषेश गरेर उत्पादन तथा निकासी एउटै कम्पनीले गर्ने हुनाले कति उत्पादन भयो र कति निकासी गरियो भन्ने सम्बन्धमा पारदर्शिता हुन्न । अन्य सरसामान निकासी गर्दा भंसारमा चेकजांच गरेर यति नैं परिमाण निकासी भएको हो र नेपाललाई यत्ति नैं राजश्व प्राप्त हुन्छ भन्ने यकिन हिसाब हुन्छ । तर यो आयोजनाको हकमा यस्तो नहुने हुनाले ठूलै चलखेल हुने बाटो पनि खुल्दछ ।

सुख्खायाममा िसंचाईको लािग पानीपूर्ण क्षमतामा जलाशययुक्त आयोजनाको रुपमा विकास गरेको भए सुख्खायाममा यो आयोजनाको जलाशयबाट प्रति सेकेन्ड ५ सय घन मिटर पानी तल्लो तटीय क्षेत्रमा उपलब्ध हुन्छ जुन पानीले कैलाली बर्दिया बांके लगायतका जिल्लाहरुमा सघन खेती गर्नसकिन्छ वर्षमा कमसेकम ३ वाली लगाइएर यो क्षेत्रको कायाकल्प नैं हुनेछ । तर नदीको वहावमा आधारित ३०० मेगावाट क्षमताको मात्र बनाउंदा त्यस भेगका जनता यो लाभबाट बंचित हुने अवस्था आएकोछ ।

प्रति सेकेन्ड ५ सय घन मिटर पानीले धान वाहेकका पानी फारो हुने खेती गरेमा १५ लाख हेक्टरमा िसंचाई हुन्छ तर नेपालका नेतृत्व तथा कर्मचारीतन्त्रमा दूरदृष्टिपूर्ण सोचको अभावले यो अवसरबाट त्यस भेगका जनता बंचित हुने भएकाछन् । यो परिमाणको पानी कति बहुमूल्य छ भन्ने कुरा दक्षिण अपि्रुकाबाट लेसोथोले प्रति सेकेन्ड १८ घन मिटर पानी बापत वार्षिक अढाई करोड डलर आर्जन गरेकोबाट सरलतापूर्वक बुझ्न सकिन्छ । यहि दरमा यो पानी उपयोग गर्न नेपालले भारतलाई दिएमा वार्षिक ५२ अर्ब रुपैया आर्जन हुनसक्छ र यति पैसाले सुदूर पश्चिम र मध्य पश्चिममा विकास निर्माणका थुप्रै काम गर्न सकिन्छ ।

यसबाट के बुझ्न सजिलो हुन्छ भने गलतरुपमा यो आयोजना प्रबद्र्धन गर्न दिनेहरु सुदूर पश्चिम र मध्य पश्चिमका जनता समृद्धशाली हुन भन्ने चाहंदैनन् । उनीहरु यो भेगलाई अहिलेकै स्थितिमा जकडेर राख्न चाहन्छन् । तसर्थ उक्त भेगका जनतालाई अन्यत्रका जनताले साथ दिनुपर्छ किनभने उक्त भेग विकास भए समग्र देशले समृद्धशाली हुने बाटो अवलम्बन गर्छ तर भारतमा बिजुली निकासी गर्दा न उक्त भेगले केहि पाउंछ न अन्यत्रका जनताले ।

भंसार मूल्य अभिबृद्धि कर आयकर छूटको औचित्य
यो आयोजना निमार्णको लागि आयात गरिने निर्माण सामग्री यन्त्र-उपकरण मेशिनरी औजार आदिमा लाग्ने भंसार महशूल मूल्य अभिबृद्धि कर जस्ता पैठारी महशूल छूट हुने व्यवस्था छ । अंदाजी २ अर्ब रुपैया जति हुने यस्तो छूट दिनाले निर्माण लागत घट्छ र बिजुलीको उत्पादन लागत पनि कम हुन्छ । यसरी छूट दिनाले राज्यको कोषले कर राजश्व गुमाउंछ र भारतीय उपभोक्ताले सस्तो बिजुली उपभोग गर्ने अवसर पाउंछ । यस्तै आयकर पनि छूट हुने व्यवस्था छ जसको कारणले पनि व्यावसायिकरुपमा पोषाउने गरेर आयोजना संचालनार्थ आवश्यक हुने बिद्युत महशूल दर कम भएपनि पुग्ने हुन्छ ।
यसरी छूट िदंदा नेपालको अर्थतन्त्रले एकातिर भंसार महशूल मूल्य अभिबृद्धि कर आयकर आदिबाट प्राप्त हुने राजश्व गुमाउंदछ भने नेपाली उपभोक्ता पनि यस्ता सस्ता आयोजनाबाट उत्पादित सस्तो बिजुली उपयोग गर्ने अवसरबाट बंचित हुन्छन् र साथै सस्तो बिजुली खपत गर्ने मौकाबाट बंचित भएर औद्योगिकरण हुन नसक्नाले द्रुत गतिमा रोजगारी श्रृजना भएर अर्थतन्त्रमा आर्थिक कृयाकलापमा अभिबृद्धि भइ लाभान्वित हुने अवसरबाट पनि मुलुक बंचित हुन्छ । अर्थात यस्तो आयोजनाको हकमा देशले कर राजश्व र बिजुली प्रयोगबाट आर्थिक कृयाकलापमा अभिबृद्धि गर्ने अवसर दुवैबाट बंचित भएर नेपालको अर्थतन्त्रले दोहरै गुमाउंने हुनाले यस्तो छूटको औचित्य छैन । यस पृष्ठभूमिमा पनि राज्यले अधिकतम लाभ लिने गरेर आयोजना प्रबद्र्धन गर्न दिईएको भन्ने भनाई पुष्टि हुन्न ।

उच्च राजनैतिक जोखिम
प्रबद्र्धकले नेपालमा उच्च राजनैतिक जोखिम मोलेर लगानिकर्ता आकृष्ट हुंदैनन् भनेर धम्कीपूर्ण भाषा प्रयोग गरेको संचार माध्यममा आएकोछ । राजनैतिक जोखिमको अवस्थामा लगानिकर्ता आकृष्ट नुहुने कुरामा असहमत हुने ठांउ छैन । तर यो आयोजना सम्बन्धमा धरातलिय यथार्थ भने बेग्लै छ । क्रान्तीले बिस्थापन गर्न लागेका मोहन सम्शेरलाई १९५० को सन्धीमा दस्तखत गराएपछि उनलाई बहिर्गमनको मार्ग प्रशस्त भारतले नैं गर् यो । अनि कोइराला दाजुभाईको झगडाले अस्थीरता व्याप्त भएको बेलामा मातृका सरकारले कोशी सन्धी गर् यो र लगत्तै मातृकाले पद गुमाए भने तत्कालिन राजा र प्रधानमन्त्री बीच असमझदारी बढेको बेलामा गण्डक सन्धी भयो र २०१७ सालको कदममा राजालाई भारतले साथ पनि दियो । समझदारी नाम दिइएको टनकपुर सन्धी पनि यस्तै समयमा अर्का कोइरालाको कार्यकालमा भयो जसको कारण एमालेको प्याकेज डीलमा महाकाली सन्धी सम्पन्न गराएर लाभान्वित हुने मौका भारतले पायो । यहि प्रबृत्तिको पुराबृत्ति पश्चिम सेती अरुण तेश्रो अनि माथिल्लो कर्णालीमा भएकोछ ।

यसबाट के देखिन्छ भने जलश्रोतमा नेपालले गुमाउने गरेर सम्झौताहरु अस्थीरताका समयमै भएकाछन् । अर्थात नेपाल कुनै प्रकारको संक्रमणकालमा रहंदा अस्थीरता व्याप्त हुंदा नैं राष्ट्रिय स्वार्थ सम्बर्धन नहुने राष्ट्रघाती प्रबृत्तिका सन्धी सम्झौता भएकाछन् । अर्को किसिमले हेर्ने हो भने जतिसुकै आलोच्य भएपनि निरंकुश राजतन्त्रमा यो प्रबृत्तिका काम भएकाछैनन् मुख्यतया स्थीरताले गर्दा । अर्थात नेपालमा राजनैतिक स्थीरता कायम भएको बेलामा राष्ट्रिय स्वार्थ सम्बर्धन नहुने राष्ट्रघाती प्रबृत्तिका सन्धी सम्झौता भएकाछैनन् ।

अहिले सक्रमणकाल छ अस्थीरता ब्याप्त छ अनि यो आयोजना पनि यस्तै समयमा अगाडी बढेबढाईएको छ । यस्तोमा यहि आयोजनाका प्रबद्र्धकबाट उच्च राजनैतिक जोखिमको भाषण सुन्नपर्दा हांसो उठ्छ तर आयोजनाबाट नेपालले गुमाउने कुरा सम्झंदा भने आंखाबाट बलिन्द्र धारा बग्ने जोखिम नेपालीले व्यहोर्न पर्छ ।

इलेक्टोनको व्यापार
बिजुली निकासी भनेको इलेक्ट्रोनको ब्यापार हो र अन्य व्यापार जस्तै बिजुली निकासीको सम्बन्धमा संसदीय अनुमोदन आवश्यक छैन भन्ने एक तप्काको धारणा छ । तर यो आयोजनाको हकमा नेपालले बिजुली निकासी गर्ने नभएर नेपाल राज्यले आयोजना निर्माण स्थल एउटा भारतीय कम्पनीलाई जिम्मा लगाएको छ र उक्त कम्पनीले भारतीय सरकारको सम्पूर्ण स्वामित्व भएको दलाल कम्पनीलाई बिजुली बिक्री गर्ने हो नेपाल राज्यले निकासी गर्ने होइन । बरु उत्पादक कम्पनीलाई नैं निकासी गर्ने समेत अनुमतिपत्र दिएको हुनाले कति उत्पादन गरेर निकासी गर् यो भन्ने हिसाब किताब पारदर्शीरुपमा रहंदैन । अन्य सरसामान निकासी गर्दा भंसारमा अभिलेख मात्र नरहेर नियन्त्रण समेत हुन्छ तर यस सम्बन्धमा यस्तो कुनै व्यवस्था छैन । त्यसकारण यो आयोजनाको सन्दर्भमा नेपालले निकासी गर्ने होइन आयोजना भारतीय कम्पनीलाई सुम्पेको मात्र हो ।

नागरिक सर्बोच्चता उल्लंघन - संसदीय अनुमोदन
अन्तरिम सम्बिधानको धारा १५६ मा प्राकृतिक श्रोतको उपयोग र सोको बांडफांट सम्बन्धमा संसदीय अनुमोदनको व्यवस्था छ र अनुमोदन ूतत्काल कायम रहेका सम्पूर्ण सदस्यहरुको दुई तिहाई बहुमतले गर्नुपर्नेू व्यवस्था छ । तर ूराष्ट्रलाई व्यापक गम्भीर वा दीर्घकालिन असर नपर्ने साधारण प्रकृतिका सन्धी सम्झौताू भने बहुमतले पारित गर्न सकिन्छ । संसदीय अनुमोदन भनेको नेपाली नागरिकको सार्वभौमसत्ता प्रतिबिम्बित हुने संस्था संसदले अनुमोदन गर्ने हुनाले यो कार्य नागरिक सर्बोच्चताको प्रतिक हो । तर यो आयोजनको सन्दर्भमा नागरिक सर्बोच्चताको उल्लंघन भएकोछ ।

यो आयोजना एउटा निकासीमूलक हो र नेपालको प्राकृतिक श्रोत जलश्रोत को उपयोग गरेर उत्पादित बिजुली भारत निकासी गर्दा जलश्रोतको उपयोगको बांडफांट हुनछ । त्यसकारण यस सम्बन्धी सम्झौतामा संसदीय अनुमोदन आवश्यक छ । नेपालबाट भारतमा बिजुली निकासी गर्न दुई राष्ट्र बीच सन्धी भएमा संसदीय अनुमोदनको झमेला हुने भएकोले होला यो आयोजनाको सम्बन्धमा निजी क्षेत्रलाई अघि सारेर सम्झौता भएकोछ । नेपाल सरकार र भारत सरकार बीच भारतमा बिजुली आपूर्ति गर्ने सन्धी गर्नुको सट्टा एउटा बिचौलिया संस्था खडा गरेर संसदीय अनुमोदनको व्यवस्था छल्न खोजेको हो ।
यो आयोजना सम्बन्धी सम्झौता संसदबाट अनुमोदित हुनुपर्छ भन्ने रिट निबेदन सर्बोच्च अदालतमा परेको थियो र यस पंक्तिकार लगायतले बहस गरेका थिए । यस सम्बन्धमा फैसला हुन बांकी नैं रहंदा अदालतको समेत अपहेलना गरेर आयोजना अगाडी बढाउन उद्यत रहेको देखिन्छ ।

आयोजनामा भारतीय सुरक्षाकर्मी
कोशी आयोजना अन्तर्गत निर्मित कोशी नदीमा निर्मित बाँध÷पुल नेपालमा अवस्थित छ तर सुरक्षाको जिम्मा भारतले लिएको छ र गण्डक आयोजनाको अवस्था पनि यस्तै छ । अहिले नैं पनि काठमाडौंको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय बिमानस्थलमा भारतीय सुरक्षाकर्मी राख्ने सम्बन्धमा धेरै जोरजुलुम भईरहेको सबैलाई थाहा छ । तर धेरैलाई थाहा नभएको कुरा के हो भने १० हजार ८ सय मेगावाटको चिसापानी कर्णाली निर्माणार्थ धेरै नेपाली बिद्यार्थीहरु भारतको रुडकीमा अध्ययनार्थ पठाईसकेपछि आयोजनाको सुरक्षाको जिम्मा भारतीयलाई दिइनुपर्ने भनाई अगाडी सारिएपछि तत्कालिन नेपाल सरकारले आयोजनामा रुचि लिन छोडेकोले आयोजना अगाडी बढेन । यो कुरा इमान्दारितापूर्वक भारतका तत्कालिन बिदेश मामिला सचिव जगत मेहताले आफ्नो सन् २००४ मा प्रकाशित ूइन्डिया-नेपाल रिलेसन्स - च्यालेन्जेज अहेडू नामक पुस्तकमा उल्लेख गरेकाछन् र यसबाट नेपालको सार्वभौमसत्तामा प्रतिकूल प्रभाव पर्ने चर्चा चलेको पनि उल्लेख गरेकाछन् ।

कोशी आयोजनाको पानीबाट भारतको कटैयामा ६ दशमलव ८ मेगावाट उत्पादन हुन्छ भने गण्डकमा १५ मेगावाट । तर यी आयोजनाको संरचनाको सुरक्षाको जिम्मा भारतले नेपाललाई पत्याएको अवस्था छैन । यस्तोमा ३ सय मेगावाट उत्पादन भएर बिजुली भारत जाने र नेपालमा अवस्थित यो आयोजनामा भारत निर्भर हुने अवस्थामा यसको सुरक्षाको जिम्मा पनि भारतले लिन चाहने सम्भावना प्रबल छ । सम्पन्न कागजातमा यस्तो नहुने नगर्ने कुनै प्रत्याभूति समेत नभएको अवस्थामा नेपाल भित्र भारतीय सुरक्षाकर्मी भित्रिन सक्ने सम्भावनालाई समेत दृष्टिगत गरेर यसलाई निकासीमूलक बनाउन हुन्न । नत्र नेपालको सार्वभौमसत्ता र राष्ट्रिय स्वाधीनता खतरामा पर्ने सम्भावना हुन्छ ।

तर अहिले माओबादीले गरेको बिरोधलाई निहुं बनाएर भारतले लगानि र जनशक्तीको सुरक्षाको लागि आफ्नो सुरक्षाकर्मी राख्न पाउनुपर्ने दाबी गर्न सक्ने भन्दै यस्तो दाबी आएमा पनि यो आयोजना कार्यान्वयन गर्न पर्ने भन्ने धारणा पनि व्यक्त हुनथालेको खेदजनक छ ।

बिरोधको लागि उचित समय
कतिपयले बिरोधको लागि यो समय उचित होइन भन्छन् । जनतालाई समुचित रुपमा सुसूचित नगरी अनुमतिपत्र दिएको र माथि उल्लिखित महत्वपूण पक्षहरु उपेक्षा गरेर आयोजना जिम्मा लगाएकोले व्यापक छलफल गरेर यो आयोजना नेपालको हितमा छ कि छैन भनेर निक्र्योल गर्ने उचित समय अहिले नैं हो । निर्माण प्रारम्भ भएको छैन बिस्तृत इन्जिनियिरंग प्रतिबेदन बन्दै गरेको हुनाले यो आयोजनाबाट नेपाल र नेपाली लाभान्वित हुने गरेर कसरी समुचित दोहन गर्न सकिन्छ भन्ने सम्बन्धमा छलफल बहस गर्ने उचित समय अहिले नैं हो । निमार्ण शुरु भए पछि परिवर्तन वा परिमार्जन असम्भव हुन्छ ।

पूर्व जलश्रोत सचिव डा। द्वारिकानाथ ढुंगेलले हालै एउटा सार्वजनिका कार्यक्रममा प्रकृया पुर् याएर आयोजना कार्यान्वयनको जिम्मा प्रबद्र्धकलाई दिईएकोले बिरोध गर्न नहुने धारणा व्यक्त गरेकाछन् । तर नेपालको संबिधानको उल्लंघन गरेर सार्वभौम संसदको अधिकार हनन् गरेर भएको काम कारवाहिलाई प्रकृया पुगेको भनेर भन्नु उचित होइन ।

भारतीय लगानिको बिरोध होइन
एक तप्का भारतीय लगानिको बिरोध भएको ठान्छन् र यस्तो भएमा लगानि कसरी आउंछ भन्ने प्रश्न गर्छन् । माथिको छलफलबाट स्पष्ट भएको छ कि सस्तो बिजुली भारत निकासी गर्न लागेकोले नेपालमा उर्जा सकट भएको र भईरहनेमा पनि बिजुली निकासी गर्ने प्रबन्ध मिलाएकोले पश्चिमी भेगका नेपाली बिजलीको सघन उपयोग गरेर औद्योगिकरण गरेर रोजगारी श्रृजना गर्ने अवसरबाट बंचित हुने हुनाले जलाशययुक्त बहुउद्देश्यीय आयोजना निर्माण गरेर नेपालले बहुआयामिक लाभ लिने मौकाबाट बंचित हुन लागेकोले १३ गुणा भन्दा बढी रोयल्टी आर्जन गर्ने मौका गुम्न जाने हुनाले १५ लाख हेक्टरमा सुख्खायाममा खेती गर्ने मौकाबाट गुम्ने हुनाले जुन नियन्त्रित पानीको बहावलाई वैकल्पिकरुपमा भारतलाई उपलब्ध गराएर वर्षको ५२ अर्ब रुपैंया नेपालले आर्जन गर्न पनि सकिन्थ्यो भारत यस आयोजनामाथि निर्भर हुनाले भारतीय सुरक्षाकर्मी राख्नुपर्ने मांग आउने सम्भावना भएकोले यो आयोजनाको बिरोध गर्नु परेको हो । सरकारले बिज्ञापन गरे जस्तो यो आयोजनाबाट राज्यलाई अत्यधिक लाभ नहुने हुनाले पनि बिरोधको औचित्य छ भने स्वतंत्र उर्जा उत्पादकहरुको भनाई अनुसार यो आयोजना र नेपालको चरम उर्जा संकटको कुनै नाता नभएकोले पनि बिरोध जायज छ ।

यो आयोजनालाई नेपालको समुचित हित हुने गरेर निर्माण गरेमा कसैले बिरोध गर्ने छैन र यो बिरोध भारतीय लगानिप्रति केन्द्रित छैन । अहिलेका मन्त्री देखि अधिकांश कर्मचारीतन्त्र बिजुली भारत निकासी गर्न नदिए लगानि कसरी आउंछ भन्ने हास्यास्पद प्रश्न गर्छन । नर्वेले नेपालको जलबिद्युतमा लगानि गरेर बिजुली नर्वे लगेको छैन न त अमेरिकी लगानि भएको आयोजनाको बिजुली अमेरिका लगिएकोछ । त्यस्तै चीन रुस कोरिया तथा अन्य देशको संलग्नतामा पनि आयोजनाहरु बनेका छन् तर बिजुली ती देशमा लगिएको छैन । तसर्थ नेपालले खोज्नु पर्ने भनेको लगानि हो अनि लगानिकर्ताले खोज्ने लगानिमा प्रतिफल हो जुन कुनै पनि बजारमा बिजुली बिक्री गरेर हुन्छ । कुनै लगानिकर्ता भारतमा निर्यात गरेमा मात्र लगानि गर्ने उद्देश्यले आउंछ भने यस्तो पूर्वाग्रह नभएको लगानिकर्ता खोज्न सकिन्छ त्यस्ता लगानिकर्ताको कमी छैन भन्ने कुरा हालै कतारबाट समेत लगानि गर्ने अभिरुची देखाइएबाट सजिलै आकलन गर्न सकिन्छ ।

बिरोध नेपालीले मात्र गरेको होइन
अमेरिकि संस्था बेक्टेल इन्टरनेशनलका प्रमुख सल्लाहकार श्री पाउल टेरेल पनि यो आयोजनाको बिपक्षमा छन् । उनी विश्व बैंकको वित्तिय सहयोगमा यो आयोजनाको अध्ययनमा सलग्न थिए । तिनको यस सम्बन्धी लेख ूहिमालू नामक जर्नलमा प्रकाशित भएको कुरा डा। आनन्द बहादुर थापाले आफ्नो लेखहरुमा उद्धृत गर्नुभएको छ । डा। थापाका अनुसार यो आयोजना राजमुकुटमा जडिएको एउटा बहुमूल्य हिरा हो र अर्काको पोल्टामा पार्नु मुर्खता हो ।

यो आयोजना आलोच्य छ नेपाललाई वास्तविक लाभ हानी बुझ्ने क्षमता नेपालीले विकास गर्न अबेर भई सक्यो र आलोचना गर्ने सचेतना पनि बिकास गर्नुपर्छ । यस्ता गलत आयोजना मात्रै नभएर नेतृत्व तथा कर्मचारीतन्त्रको गलत प्रबृत्ति अनि जनमानसमा भ्रान्ती छर्ने कृयाकलापको सबल रुपमा बिरोध गर्नुपर्छ । बेला छंदै बिरोध नगरेर मौन बस्दा आफू मात्र नभएर आगामि पुस्ताले समेत उज्यालोमा बस्न नपाउने मात्र नभएर देशको औद्योगिकरण गरेर देश भित्रै रोजगारी श्रृजना गर्ने अवसरबाट पनि बंचित हुनेछ । कुरा बिजुलीको मात्र नभएर पानीकॊ पनि हो भन्ने जनसाधरणले बुझ्न ढिलो भईसक्यो । नेपाल भित्र १५ लाख हेक्टर िसंचाईबाट सघन खेती गरेर खाद्य सुरक्षा सुनिश्चित गर्ने र उक्त क्षेत्रलाई समुन्नत बनाउने अवसरबाट समेत बंचित भइनेछ । अझ उक्त क्षेत्रमात्र समुन्नत हुने नभएर कृषि उत्पादन बढ्नाले अन्यत्रका नेपालीले पनि सुपथ मूल्यमा सुलभरुपमा खाद्यान्न किन्न पाएर हाल नेपालीलाई आक्रांत पारेको अनिकाललाई इतिहांसको पन्नाहरुमा सीमित गर्न सकिने अवसर गुम्नेछ ।

माओबादी दलले यस्तो गम्भिर विषयमा राजनैतिक उद्देश्यले मात्र हात हालेको भन्ने निक्र्योलमा हामफाल्नु पनि दुर्भाग्य नैं हो । यदि उक्त दलले सांच्चिकै राजनैतिक आन्दोलनलाई सशक्त बनाउन मात्र यो विषय उछालेको हो भने झन महादुर्भाग्य हो । यो पंक्तिकार आशा एवम् विश्वाश गर्न चाहन्छ कि यस्तो कदापि होइन । उक्त दल राष्ट्रियता प्रति राष्ट्रिय स्वार्थ सम्बर्धन गर्नमा दत्तचित्त भएर लागेकामा भरोसा गर्न चाहन्छ । राष्ट्रिय स्वाधीनता राष्ट्रियता र राष्ट्रिय स्वार्थ सम्बन्धमा चासो राख्ने सम्पूर्ण नेपाली जनताले यो कुरामा विश्वास गर्न चाहेको यो पंक्तिकारले महसूस गरेकोछ । अन्यथा भए यो दलले पनि नेपाली जनताको विश्वास र भरोसा गुमाउनेछ जुन उक्त दललाई धेरै महंगो साबित हुनसक्नेछ ।

उच्च स्तरिय राजनैतिक संयन्त्रमा यस सम्बन्धी छलफल गर्ने भन्ने सुनिएकोछ र उक्त संयन्त्रमा रहेका अन्यको काम प्रबृत्ति र सोचाईसंग नेपाली जनता परिचित छन् । तर माओबादी अध्यक्षले आफ्नै दलका कार्यकर्ताले प्रारम्भ गरेको राष्ट्रिय स्वाधीनता राष्ट्रियता र राष्ट्रियता स्वार्थको हितमा गरेको कामको बिपक्षमा कार्य गर्ने छैनन् भन्ने कुरामा माओबादी दलमा आबद्ध नभएका नेपाली जनता पनि विश्वास गर्न चाहन्छन् । आशा एवम् विश्वास छ नेपाली जनतालाई मर्माहत गरिनेछैन । साथै आशा गरौं यो आयोजनाका पक्षपोषक र पृष्ठपोषकमा देशभक्तीको भावना जागृत हुनेछ र यस पंक्तिकार जस्तामा धैर्यतापूवर्क राष्ट्रियता राष्ट्रिय स्वाधीनताको पक्षमा निरन्तर लागि रहने क्षमता अरु अभिबृद्धि हुनेछ ।
Ratna Sansar Shrestha
नेपाल इन्जिनियिरंग पूर्वाधार विकास समाजद्वारा आयोजित कार्यक्रममा २०६६ माघ २९ मा प्रस्तुत कार्यपत्र
पूर्वाधार विकास उर्जा विशेषांक वर्ष ३ अंक ३ भाद २०६७ मा पकाशित