Monday, June 7, 2010

...thought Kantipur didn't indulge in yellow journalism

June 7, 2010
Mr Sudhir Sharma
Vernacular Daily


I used to think that Kantipur didn't indulge in yellow journalism. But I am afraid that your paper and your correspondents are determined to prove me wrong. What you published yesterday (attached for your ease to cross reference) goes a long way to shatter my belief. In this piece I have been put in league with stalwarts like Laxman Ghimire, Pradip Nepal, Pashupati Shamsher, Surya Nath Upadhaya et al. (actually this sounds like a compliment to me!). You have portrayed me as a villain for executing Khimti PPA. You have got your fact wrong and neither did your publication nor did your correspondent check with me before writing as such. I merely witnessed the document and someone else with necessary right and authority did execute the PPA. Looks like you don’t even have information as to who executed this PPA. It’s shame that you go on to write without full information. For a newspaper of your stature, I am sure that you are aware of the profound difference between merely witnessing contract and executing it. I hope you will have necessary willpower to set the record right.

Then in that piece you have gone on to say that after getting Arun III cancelled at that time, merely to have it (new incarnation of Arun III) “given” to India now and now I am keeping quiet after serving Indian interest. I think you again need to get your straight. Your paper couldn’t have been further from the truth. I am equally critical of the new incarnation of Arun III and have written and made presentations on these lines quite a lot. You just need to follow the link below to check one particular evidence:

For your ease you just need to peruse the last paragraph of this article which was published in Hydro Nepal (Journal of Water, Energy and Environment) Issue # 4 January 2009 which I have quoted below:

Moreover, the new version of Arun III project, although with double installed capacity and less than half average cost per kW (and therefore requiring lower tariff) will not be contributing to the mitigation of load shedding problem in Nepal substantially as it is being undertaken as a dedicated export oriented project. In sum, the cancellation of earlier incarnation of Arun III didn’t contribute to the load shedding and nor the new version of Arun III is likely to solve electricity crisis when it is commissioned.

In another article published this very month, I have made the same point which you can read by following the link below:

There are many more articles on this very vein. But I would rather not tire you. I just wish that you, your publication and your correspondents will check their facts, check with the people they are referring to in the publication before publishing such pieces.

Moreover, there is even a case actively being considered by the Supreme Court in which the petitioner has requested the Court to cancel the agreement signed by GoN with Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam for Arun III (new incarnation) and I am one of the lawyers involved in making presentation to the court. This too would amply prove that I am very much against current incarnation of Arun III from which good quality cheap power will be exported to India while leaving Nepal to struggle with load shedding; to mitigate which GoN is proposing to import power at high tariff. I wish you would have checked all these facts before publishing a baseless piece being referred to here

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha