Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Politics and sale of surplus power and water

February 8, 2012
Sugat Ratna Kansakar


Cc: Dipak Gyawali; Ajaya Dixit; 'paras kharel'; Jagan Nath Shrestha
Subject: RE: FW: Signature campaign

Sugat jee

Good to hear from you.

When I articulate my opinion, I don't need to worry about "minus politics", simply because I am not a politician (politicians, with some rare exceptions, neither have morals nor, and therefore, any qualms selling the motherland for a few sivelrs) and I don’t express my opinion with any political color. Therefore, people reading my writings and listening (in radio or TV) to me should grow up and take off their tinted glasses (virtual) and try to reach the depth I try to depict (most of the time space constraint restricts full elaboration and superficial people miss the forest from trees). For me India-card and China-card is utter nonsense.
To answer your question categorically there is no harm whatsoever "if we sale surplus power and water". People may be surprised to hear that I too am in favor of selling "surplus power and water". The two important words in the sentence you have constructed are "sale" and "surplus" in the context of power and water. Anyone objecting to sale of surplus power and water is an utter fool. But unfortunately, there are a bunch of "intellictutes" who misconstrue what people like me say in this context.

Projects like, export oriented, Arun III project (900 MW in wet season) reflect intellectual bankruptcy. Eastern Development Region, where the project is located, will be requiring around 800 MW in 5 years time (by the time this project will be commissioned) if we are to attain even normal growth (what we have now is suppressed growth and what we should have been aiming for is accelerated growth not just envy the growth rate attained by India – Bihar in particular – and China). Meaning this project doesn’t aim to "sale" "surplus" power but it is going to deprive the Region of the much needed power required for the industrialization of the area to generate employment etc.

Further, one also needs to remember that this projects doesn't "sell" power, it rather "surrenders". Because selling entails getting best price. The intellectual poverty in all this is manifest in the fact that even at the moment we are importing power at close to Rs 11 while this project will "sale" at around Rs 2 only. Therefore, anyone who loves the motherland should be saying that Nepal should sell power only after saturating power need of this country; not just for electrification but to industrialize, to electrify transportation (to displace petroleum product import) and so on so forth. Secondly we should aim at "selling" surplus power not export at rock bottom prices.

The scenario with water is much worse, hence the objection. The regulated water (I trust you are able to distinguish between water of wet season versus stored/regulated water made available in dry season) generated by projects like West Seti, Budhi Gandaki, Naumure, etc. are being planned to be provided to India free of cost. There are no dearth of fools in this country who even go on to say that why try to sell water (as you have correctly opined contrary to this stupidity) which will flow south in any case. These people forget two things. One, Nepal has to bear cost in terms of negative externalities like inundation and displacement (people just look at the financial cost of building the project). Two, if the downstream beneficiary isn't willing to pay for the "surplus" water (as you again have rightly pointed out) the project should be designed with the water need of Nepal in sight which will mean lower dam height, inundation of lesser quantum of precious land and displacement of fewer people.

I trust you will join hands with the people of 21 district of Karnali Basin to exploit Karnali River system of the benefit of the people therefrom and our motherland.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

-----Original Message-----

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 20:18
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha

Subject: Re: FW: Signature campaign
Dear Ratna Sansarji,

If a layman ask us "what is the harm, if we sale surplus power and water, thereby earning revenue to nation?", what should be our answer. Better if answer is also in layman language minus politics, and so called India-card and China-card non-senses.


Sugat Ratna Kansakar

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