Saturday, March 31, 2012

RE: West Seti project in Nepal's interest

March 31, 2012
Kishore Nepal

Kishore jee

Good to hear from you and I am happy to clarify things for you. I have written a number of articles on Upper Karnali, which I have uploaded in my website; these will answer a number of questions in your mind. You can access those by clicking the links below:

Briefly, Upper Karnali site is an incomparable gift of Mother Nature to Nepali people but it is going to be squandered and, therefore, this incarnation needs to be restructured such that it doesn’t fall prey to colonial model of resource exploitation. If GMR is to emulate Three Gorges and implement upper Karnali such that it serves our national interest then GMR is very welcome. Otherwise, I don’t expect GMR to be implementing this project. I am working at every possible level to ensure that this project too is built to serve our national interest. For example I am making a presentation at Rashtriya Sabha Griha (City Hall) on Tuesday. You are also welcome (time: 2pm to 4pm). I am also fighting a case at Supreme Court.

Investors are investors, no matter where they hail from. We shouldn’t have predilection against any investors as long as each particular investor involves itself in a project in the manner that serves our national interest. Therefore, it isn’t the case of Three Gorges being better than GMR or any other investor. If Upper Karnali is to emulate West Seti and implement in Nepal’s national interest, then GMR is more than welcome to implement it.

No investor serves national interest, neither their own, nor ours. The only interest that an investor serves is that of their investment: which is return on investment or “profit.” Meaning: even Nepali investors don’t serve Nepal’s national interest primarily. It is dharma of a businessman to work for profit and only profit. Mainly they work to profit from their investment (or even without making any investment) and only secondarily, or rather incidentally, their investment may serve Nepal’s interested. This point is best illustrated by Nepali investors being involved in VAT robbery, smuggling, bank scam, “sick industry business”, et al. Independent people like you and me have to ensure that an investment does not only benefit the investors in terms of generating profit but also to Nepal’s economy and Nepali people.

Your questions on our national interest, national target and national vision are very “loaded” and will be difficult to answer them such that the answers don’t transcend the span of attention of an individual. Specifically our national interest with regard to hydropower lies in using it not only for electrification (lighting) in Nepal but for industrialization to generate employment as well as to displace fossil fuel by maximizing use of electricity in the transport sector (all these together will help our country prosper by eliminating balance of trade and balance of payment deficit). Our national interest will not be served by exporting power in current condition when country is suffering from electricity “famine”. Nor will our national be served by exporting power at rock bottom price; less than Rs 2/unit while we import from India at close to Rs 11/unit.

Our national interest will be served if Nepal is to buy all electricity generated in Nepal by, for example, GMR from any project, use it in Nepal to saturation level and GoN exports remaining electricity at the rate India exports to us.

I am always speaking without my personal interest clouding my vision. If you were to study my writings, it shouldn’t be that difficult for an intelligent person like you to discern that I don’t fear anyone, I have no dread of nobody and I call a spade spade without being afraid whatsoever.

Koshi, Gandaki and Mahakali treaties were blunders. Previous incarnation of West Seti wouldn’t have served our national interest and therefore, I had to fight against it tooth and nail. I didn’t limit my fight against it by merely writing articles. I fought against it in Supreme Court. I worked hard to have ADB withdraw its investment (ADB was not only going to provide debt funding, but also investing in equity and also giving loan to GoN to invest in equity). Due to the efforts of people like me, West Seti is now going to be implemented by Three Gorges in our national interest. We gave ample opportunity to SMEC to re-tailor the project such that the project was built to serve our national interest for example the electricity be made available to meet Nepal’s need. They failed to heed to us and they got “ousted” from the project itself. However, I don’t have and didn’t have anything against SMEC. Now West Seti project is going to be built to serve our national interest and I wholeheartedly support it without worrying about angering anyone.
I am in opposition of Arun III too and I am fighting litigation in Supreme Court.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst
From: []
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 21:58
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
Subject: Re: West Seti project in Nepal's interest

Dear Sir,

May I know your opinion on Upper Karnali? Is there any difference between Chinese and Indian MNC? Why Three Gorge is better and GMR not better? Don't you think both the country serve their own national interest?

Can you explain our own National interest? What is our national target? What is our national vision?

Why the learned people like yourself shed your own personal interest and speak out independently? Why you are afraid of surrounding? Could you pls explain the national mind set of our so called rulers?

Seti or Karnali, Koshi or Roshi. Seti or Kali- has been mired by petti political interest. Our leaders are poor on national mathematics and bargaining for the benefit of the nation. In the situation blaming others for our own stupidity is a shameless act.

Don't you agree?


Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Ncell


From: "Ratna Sansar Shrestha"
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 19:06:59 +0545
To: Ratna Sansar
Subject: FW: West Seti project in Nepal's interest
Dear Colleague
Following GoN decision to have West Seti project implemented by China Three Gorges International, this project is going to be implemented in the interest of Nepal and people of Nepal. I have written an article on the subject which was published by Gorkhapatra yesterday.

Friday, March 30, 2012

पश्चिम सेतीमा महत्वपूर्ण उपलब्धी

वर्तमान सरकारको कार्यसम्पादन प्रति धेरै नकरात्मक टिप्पणीहरु आइरहेकोमा हालै कालो बादलमा सशत्तरुपमा चांदीको घेरा देखिएकोछ । स्मेकल न्यूनतम लागतमा उत्पादन हुने उच्च गुणस्तरको पश्चिम सेती आयोजनाको बिजुलीे निकासी गर्न लागेकोमा सर्वत्र बिरोध भयो । बिजुलीको अभावमा जनता लोडसेडिंगबाट आक्रांत छन् भने औद्योगिकरण नभएर रोजगारीका अभावमा युवायुवति बाध्यताबस् बिदेश पलायन हुन्छन्, आर्थिक शोषणमा मात्र नपरेर यौन शोषण, मानव तस्करी देखि मानव बेचबिखन सम्ममा पर्छन् । औद्योगिकरण नभएकैले मनग्गे योगदान÷मूल्य अभिबृद्धि गर्ने गरेर उत्पादन नहुनाले ब्यापार घाटा देखि शोधनानन्तर घाटाको कुचक्रमा मुलुकको अर्थतन्त्र परेकोछ । मनग्गे बिजुली उपलब्ध भए यातायातको समेत बिद्युतिकरण गरेर पेट्रोलियम पदार्थमाथिको निर्भरता घटाउन सकिने थियो ।

बिजुली आन्तरिक खपत
यस्तोमा यो आयोजना को बिजुली निकासी गर्दा राष्ट्रलाई घाटा पर्ने हुनाले राष्ट्रघात भएकोमा ब्यापक बिरोध भए । सर्वोच्च अदालतमा मुद्दा चलाइएकोमा पनि पराजित भएर पनि हिम्मत नहारेर स्मेकलाई यो आयोजना कार्यान्वयनार्थ वित्तिय व्यवस्था गर्न राजी भईसकेको एशियाली बिकास बैंकका पदाधिकारीलाई समेत यो आयोजना नेपालको हितमा नभएको कुरा बुझाइएकोले स्मेकले लगानि जुटाउन नसकेर इजाजतपत्र नेपाल सरकारबाट रद्द गरियो ।

आन्तरिक खपतको लागि चीनिया कम्पनीले निर्माण गर्ने व्यवस्था सरकारले मिलाएकोमा नेपाली जनता हौसिएकाछन् भने उच्च गुणस्तरको बिजुली न्यून दरमा पैठारी गर्ने अवसरबाट बंचित भएर भारतीय स्वार्थमा आघात पुग्नाले यो सरकार प्रति भारतीय अवधारणामा आउनसक्ने नकरात्मकतालाई सामना गर्ने साहस पनि यो सरकारले देखाएको धेरै सराहनिय छ ।

सन् २०१९ मा निर्माण सम्पन्न हुंदा यो आयोजनाको बिजुली नेपालले खपत गर्न नसक्नेमा निकासीको व्यवस्था नगरेकोमा संसदीय समितिबाट आयोजाना कार्यान्वयन रोक्का गर्ने आदेश दिइया, जुन धरातलिय यथार्थबाट धेरै टाढा छ । अहिले जडित क्षमता ७ सय मेगावाट छ र ४ सय ५६ मेगावाटको माथिल्लो तामाकोशी आयोजना निर्माणाधीन छ । सन् २०१९ सम्ममा अरु ५ सय मेगावाट निर्माण सम्पन्न भएमा कूल जडित क्षमता १६ सय ६५ पुग्ने छ जसबाट सुख्खायाममा ५ सय मेगावाट मात्र उत्पादन हुन्छ भने नेपाल बिद्युत प्राधिकरणले गरेको प्रक्षेपण अनुसार उच्चतम मांग २ हजार मेगावाट पुग्छ र यो आयोजनाको बिजुली उपलब्ध भएपनि मांगपूर्ति हुंदैन । त्यसैले यो आयोजनाको बिजुली नेपालमा खपत हुंदैन र निकासी गर्नुपर्छ भन्ने कुरा सांचो होइन ।

अहिले नेपालमा कुनै पनि उद्योग पूर्ण क्षमतामा चलेको छैन र बिजुलीको अभावमा नयां उद्योग स्थापना हुनसकेकोले प्राधिकरणले गरेको प्रक्षेपण दमित आर्थिक बृद्धि दरमा आधारित छ । सामान्य आर्थिक बृद्धि दर हासिल गर्न नेपालले ५ वषै भित्रै ५ हजार मेगावाट बिजुली खपत गर्न जरुरी छ भने चीन र भारत जस्ता उच्च आर्थिक बृद्धि दर हासिल गरेका छिमेकीको समकक्षमा पुग्न आगामी ५ वर्ष भित्र १० हजार मेगावाट खपत गर्नुपर्ने हुन्छ । त्यसकारण यो आयोजनाको बिजुली नेपालमा खपत हुंदैन भनेर निर्माणमा अवरोध पु¥याउनु राष्ट्रघाती कदम हो ।

यस सम्बन्धमा प्रधानमन्त्री भट्टराईको लोकतन्त्र प्लस जलबिद्युत बराबर नयां नेपाल भन्ने सूत्र सान्दर्भिक हुन्छ । तर सम्झन जरुरी छ कि जलबिद्युत नेपालमा उत्पादन भएर त्यसको खपत, अनि त्यसबाट औद्योगिकरण र रोजगारी सृजना भारतमा भएमा नयां नेपाल बन्दैन । उत्पादित बिजुली नेपालमा खपत गरेर औद्योगिकरण र रोजगारी सृजना पनि नेपालमा भए मात्र नयां नेपाल बन्दछ । अन्यथा औद्योगिकरण भारतमा भएर नेपाली जनता भारतमा गएर कुल्ली, बहादुर, चौकिदार, दरबान हुने बाध्यताबाट मुक्त हुनेछैनन् र लोकतन्त्रमा जलबिद्युत उत्पादन हुंदैमा नयां नेपाल बन्दैन, सपनामा सीमित हुनेछ ।

बिजुली खपतको प्राथमिकिकरण
यो आयोजनाको बिजुली सुदूर तथा मध्य पश्चिमांचल विकास क्षेत्रहरुमै खपत हुन सक्दैन र राजधानी लगायतका पूर्वी भेगमा यो बिजुली आपूर्ति गर्न प्रशारण संजाल महंगो पर्नाले बिजुली पनि महंगो पर्न जाने कुरा पनि आएकोछ । यसमा आंशिक मात्र सत्यता छ । उक्त क्षेत्र सापेक्षरुपमा अत्यधिक पिछडिएको छ, अझ भनौं पश्चिमांचल लगायतका पूर्वी बिकास क्षेत्रहरुबाट यो क्षेत्र शोषित छन् । तर यसमा पनि चांदीको घेरा छ । किनभने औद्योगिकरण, विकास निर्माण भईनसकेकोले अत्यधिक बिजुली खपत गर्ने गरेर औद्योगिकरण, विकास निर्माण गर्ने सम्भावना धेरै छ । उत्पादित बिजुली यहि क्षेत्रमैं खपत हुनेगरेर औद्योगिकरण तथा विकास निर्माण गरिनुपर्छ, त्यो पनि यो आयोजना सम्पन्न हुने समयमा बिजुली खपत गर्ने गरेर गरिनुपर्दछ । जसको लागि कृषि मल कारखाना देखि जडिबुटी तथा खनिज प्रशोधन उद्योग स्थापना गर्न सकिन्छ भने शीत भण्डार तथा बिद्युतिय भकारी निर्माण गरेर किसानलाई समृद्ध पार्न सकिन्छ ।

यो क्षेत्रको खपतलाई प्राथमिकरण गरेर बांकी बिजुली मात्र पश्चिमांचल लगायतका पूर्वी भेगमा “निकासी” गरिनुपर्दछ । त्यसपछि बचेउब्रेको बिजुली नेपाल सरकारले भारत निकासी गनुपर्छ । निरपेक्ष ढंगबाट निकासीको बिरोध गर्नु बेकार छ ।
बिद्युत महसूल तिर्ने हैसियत
निकासीको पक्षपोषकहरुले त्यस भेगका जनताको बिद्युत महशूल तिर्ने हैसियत नभएको कुरा गर्छन्, जुन सतही रुपमा सांचो हो । रोजगारीको अभावमा हात मुख जोड्ने हैसियत नभएकालाई बिजुली बाल्नु बिलासिता हो । तर औद्योगिकरणबाट रोजगारी सृजना भई आय आर्जन गरेपछि बिद्युत महसूल तिर्न सक्षम हुन्छन् । त्यस भेगका जनताले बिद्युत महसूल तिर्न सक्दैन भनेर त्यहांको जलश्रोत दोहन गरेर पश्चिमांचल लगायतका पूर्वी भेगमा “निकासी” गर्नु वा भारत निकासी गर्नु औपनिबेसिक दोहन हो, जुन मध्ययुगिन अभ्यास हो र आधुनिक युगमा स्वीकार्य छैन ।

यो पनि स्मरणिय छ कि प्राधिकरणले खरिद गरेको बिजुलीको प्रति युनिट भारित औसत लागत ६ रुपैया ३२ पैसा पर्दछ भने यो आयोजनाबाट प्रति युनिट ४ रुपैंयामा उपलब्ध हुन्छ । स्मेकले निकासीको लागि सम्पन्न समझदारीपत्रमा ४ दशमलव ९५ अमेरिकि सेन्ट तोकिसकेको हुनाले नेपालले पनि चीनिया कम्पनीबाट यहि दरमा मात्र खरिद गरिनुपर्दछ र यो आयोजनाको कारणले प्राधिकरणको नोक्सानी घट्नाको अतिरिक्त उपभोक्तालाई पनि अझ सस्तो दरमा बिजुली उपलब्ध गराउनसक्नेछ ।

यस सन्दर्भमा चिलिमे तथा माथिल्लो तामाकोशीको बिजुली खरिद सम्बन्धमा गरिएको गल्ती दोह¥याउन हुन्न । प्रति मेगावाट १० करो ६० लाख रुपैया मात्र लागत परेको चिलिमे आयोजनाको बिजुली प्रति युनिट ६ रुपैया ४७ पैसामा किन्ने गल्ति भएकोछ, जहां प्रति मेगावाट लागत १५ करोड रुपैया परेका आयोजनाहरुबाट ४ रुपैया ४४ पैसामा खरिद गरिएको छ । महंगोमा किनेको चर्चा चल्दा प्राधिकरणका पदाधिकारीले खरिद दर महंगो भएतापनि चिलिमेबाट लाभांश स्वरुप प्राधिकरणले फिर्ता पाउने तर्क गर्छन्, जुन युक्तिसंगत छैन । किनभने मुख हुंदाहुंदै नाकबाट खानु बुद्धिमानि हुन्न, प्राधिकरणको हित सकेसम्म कम दरमा खरिद गरेरै मात्र हुन्छ ।

दुर्भाग्यबास माथिल्लो तामाकोशीमा पनि चिलिमेकै गल्ति पुनराबृत्ति गरिइसकेकोछ । प्रति युनिट उत्पादन लागत २ रुपैया पनि नपर्ने बिजुली झण्डै ५ रुपैंयामा खरिद गर्ने सम्झौता सम्पन्न भैसकेकोछ, यसमा प्राधिकरणको स्वामित्व ४० प्रतिशत छ भन्दै । पश्चिम सेती आयोजनामा पनि २५ प्रतिशत स्वामित्व प्राधिकरणको रहेन भन्दैमा कुनै पनि हालतमा प्रति युनिट ४ रुपैया भन्दा बढी तिरिनु हुन्न ।

सकारको अनुकरणिय काम
पचिम सेती आयोजनामा नेपालको हित सुनिश्चित गरेर सरकारले अनुकरणिय काम गरेकोछ र यस्तै खाले काम पूवांचल विकास क्षेत्रको जनताले पनि अपेक्षा गरेकाछन् । त्यहां सुख्खायाममा ५ मेगावाट पनि उत्पादन नहुने १४ मेगावाट जडित क्षमता छ । उद्योगहरुबाट पूर्ण क्षमतामा उत्पादन नहुने र बिद्युतिय उर्जाको अभावमा नयां उद्योग स्थापना हुनसकेको अवस्थाको लागि नैं २ सय मेगावाट भन्दा बढी आवश्यक छ । अर्थात तत्काल ५ सय मेगावाट उपलब्ध भएमा पनि यो क्षेत्रमा सजिलै खपत हुन्छ र आगामि ५ वर्षमा हजार मेगावाट भन्दा बढी आवश्यक हुनेछ । तर ९ सय मेगावाट जडित क्षमताको अरुण तेश्रो आयोजनाको झण्डै ८० प्रतिशत बिजुली निकासी गर्ने प्रपञ्च रचिंदैछ, जुन बुद्धिमानिपूर्ण कुरा होइन र ब्यापक बिरोध भईरहेकोछ । यो बिरोध अरुण तेश्रो आयोजनाको होइन, न लगानिकर्ता सतलज जलबिद्युत निगमको हो । भारतकै बिरोध पनि होइन । त्यस क्षेत्रको जलश्रोत दोहन गरेर त्यस क्षेत्रको हितमा उपयोग गरिनुपर्छ भन्ने मात्र हो ।

लगानिकर्तालाई लगानि सुरक्षाको प्रत्याभूति तथा समुचित प्रतिफल आवश्यक हुन्छ । जे जुन दरमा अरुण तेश्रोको बिजुली निकासी गरिने हो त्यहि दरमा नेपाल सरकारले खरिद गर्ने व्यवस्था मिलाइनुपर्छ । अनि त्यहां खपत नभएको बिजुली राजधानी लगायतका पश्चिमि भेगमा खपत गरिएर बांकी बचेको बिजुली नेपाल सरकारले प्रतिपश्र्धात्मक दरमा भारत निकासी गर्नुपर्छ, सतलजले सोझै भारत निकासी गर्ने होइन ।

पश्चिम सेतीको सन्दर्भमा बांकी महत्वपूर्ण काम
जलाशययुक्त आयोजना हुनाले ३,००४ हेक्टर जमिन डुबानमा परेर १८ हजार भन्दा बढी नेपाली बिस्थापित हुन्छन् । लागत १ अर्ब ६० करोड अमेरिकि डलर भनिएको नगद लगानि हो र डुबान तथा बिस्थापन भनेको गैर नगद लगानि हो । नगद लगानिको प्रतिफल उत्पादित बिजुली बिक्रीबाट प्राप्त हुन्छ भने गैर नगद लगानिको प्रतिफल जलाशयमा संचित पानी सुख्खायाममा उपयोग गरेर लिइनुपर्छ । जलाशयमा वर्षातको पानी संचित भएर खडेरी पर्ने ८ महिनामा ९० घन मिटर प्रति सेकेन्ड पानी उपलब्ध हुन्छ र वर्षातमा बाढी नियन्त्रण हुन्छ । सुख्खायाममा उपलब्ध हुने पानीबाट डोटी, अछाम, सुर्खेत, कैलाली, बर्दिया, बांके आदि जिल्लाहरुमा २ लाख ७० हजार हेक्टर भूमि सिंचाई हुन्छ, धान वाहेकका पानी फारो हुने खेती गर्दा । यसबाट खाद्य सुरक्षाको सुनिश्चित हुनाको अलावा रोजगारी बृद्धि भएर सुदूर तथा मध्य पश्चिमाचंलको कायाकल्प हुन्छ, त्यस क्षेत्रलाई समृद्ध बनाउन सकिन्छ । तसर्थ चीनिया लगानिकर्ताले जलबिद्युत आयोजनाको रुपमा निर्माण हुने यस आयोजनालाई नेपाल सरकारले बहुउद्देश्यीय स्वरुप दिनुपर्छ, तदारुकताकासाथ नहर प्रणाली निर्माण गरेर ।

नेपालीले अल्छि गरेर सिंचाई, खेती पाती नगर्ने हो भने अफ्रिकि मुलुक लेसोथोले कायम गरेको (१८ घन मिटर प्रति सेकेन्डको वार्षिक अढाई करोड डलर) दरमा यो पानीबाट वार्षिक ६ अर्ब रुपैंया नेपाल सरकारलाई छिमेकी मुलुकबाट राजश्व प्राप्त हुन्छ । जबकी जलबिद्युत आयोजनाबाट सरकारलाई वार्षिक ३२ करोड रुपैया मात्र रोयल्टी राजश्व आर्जन हुन्छ ।

कतिपय भारतका पृष्ठपोषकहरुले घरमा बत्ति बाल्दा सडकमा उज्यालो हुन्छ भनेर बत्ति नबाल्ने भनेर प्रश्न गर्छन भने अन्यले आफूले बासमती चामलको भात पकाउंदा बास्ना छिमेकीले पनि सुंघ्छ भनेर बासमती चामल कहिल्यै नपकाउने भन्छन् । यो आयोजना निर्माण भएर सुख्खायाममा उपलब्ध हुने पानी घरको उज्यालो सडकमा पोखिने अथवा बासमती चामलको बास्ना भन्दा तात्विक रुपमा फरक छ । कोलम्बिया सन्धी अन्तर्गत पानी संचय गर्नाले तल्लो तटीय राष्ट्र अमेरिकामा बाढी नियन्त्रण र सुख्खायाममा सिंचाईको लागि पानी उपलब्ध भएबापत क्यानाडाले पनि रकम प्राप्त गरेको नजीर छ र यस अनुरुप सबै जलाशययुक्त आयोजनालाई बहुउद्देश्यीय आयोजना बनाइनुपर्छ ।

Ratna Sansar Shrestha

२०६८ चैत्र १६ गतेको गोरखापत्रमा प्रकाशित

Thursday, March 29, 2012

RE: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

March 29, 2012

To: 'Shambhu Upadhyay'

Shambhu jee

We haven’t won the war. We have just won one battle. We still need to fight more battles to ensure that projects like Upper Karnali and Arun III are built in Nepal’s interest.

I am making a presentation about upper Karnali project next Tuesday at City Hall (Rashtriya Sabha Griha). Time: 2 PM to 5 PM.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

From: Shambhu Upadhyay []
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 22:26
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
Subject: RE: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

Dear Sansar Jee,

Thank you very much for your valuable note on West Seti.

Your alalysis is right to more extent but the awarwness among the people has increased significantly too.Yesterday they were opposing the project but today in the new scenerio, they are fighting in behalf of the project ,the evidance of which were the voices that we heard from the local represantatives gathered in Bhansa Griha.Further, we read a lot infavour of this project in daily news media too. It means that they have developed the capacity to analyse its merit and demerit and act accordingly.After rectifying procudural mistake ,I am confident that the project will go ahead and it must be.

With regards,

S. P. Upadhyay

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

RE: पश्चिम सेती आयोजना

March 28, 2012


I am always in favor projects that serve Nepal's interest.

People are now going about saying that the license held by SMEC got cancelled as it failed to mobilize investment. That isn't full truth. ADB had agreed to provide debt funding, also invest in equity and, moreover, had even agreed to lend money to GoN to invest I equity of west seti. However, we succeeded to dissuade ADB from doing so by explaining to them that the structure of west seti under SMEC doesn't serve Nepal's interest.

Now CTGI is going to build it for internal consumption and that means this project will not be subject to colonial exploitation.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Prabhat
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2012 17:53:29 +0545
Subject: पश्चिम सेती आयोजना


रत्न संसार जी,
नेपालको अति कम विकसित सुदुर पश्चिममा बन्ने ७५०मेगावाटको पश्चिम सेती जलाशययुक्त आयोजना भारितय इन्टरेष्टमा राजनैतिकरण गरिंदैछ । हामी सुदुर पश्चिमेलीहरुको भेग विकास के कहिल्यै हुन नपाउने हो कि ? ऐन अनुसार सिधा वार्ताबाट १५ वर्ष अघि स्मेकलाई पश्चिम सेतीको लाइसेन्स दिलाउने सरकारमा विद्यमान पार्टीहरु नेपाली काँग्रस र ऐमालेले अहिले विद्युत ऐनको सोहि दफा ३५ अनुसार चीनको थ्रि गर्जेस् सँग गरेको समझदारीको विरोध गरेको देख्दा हामीलाई दुख लागेको छ । स्मेकले त्यत्रो लामो अन्तरालमा खासै ठोस काम नगरे पनि यि नेपाली काँग्रस र ऐमाले रहेका सरकारहरुले उसको लाइसेन्स पटक पटक एक्सटेन्ड गरेको हो भने थ्रि गर्जेसलाई लाइसेन्स नै नदिइसकेकिएको र उसँग केवल समझदारी मात्र गरिएकोमा मात्र विरोध गरेर आयोजना नै स्थगित गर्ने गरी दिइएको निर्देशनले हामी सुदुर पश्चिमको विकास हुने सपना फेरि विलाएको छ ।
स्मेकलाइ दिएको लाइसेन्स र थ्रि गर्जेस् सँग गरिएको समझदारी जसरी नै नेपाल सरकारले (धेरैजसो नेपाली काँग्रस र ऐमाले सरकार रहेको पालामा) करीब कूल १६००० मेगावाट क्षमताको ३०० वटा भन्दा बढी जलविद्युत आयोजनाहरुका लाइसेन्स विद्युत ऐनको दफा ३५ बमोजिम विभिन्न प्रवर्तकहरुलाई प्रदान गरेको छ । १०० मेगावाट र बढी क्षमताका ठूला जलविद्युत आयोजनाहरु हकमा नेपाल सरकारले प्रवर्तकहरुलाई प्रतिस्पर्धा नगराइकन लाइसेन्स दिएको छ जसमा नेपाली काँग्रस र ऐमाले सहित कसैले पनि विरोध गरेको थिएन र गरिराखेको पनि छैन । पश्चिम सेतीमा विरोध गर्ने यिनै पार्टीहरुले यि ३०० वटा भन्दा बढी आयोजनाहरुमा किन फ्रि इनर्जी र प्रतिस्पर्धाको कुरा नउठाएको ? विद्युत विकास विभागको वेभसाइटमा प्राप्त सूचि संलग्न छ । यी ठूला आयोजनाका प्रवर्तकहरु धेरैजसो भारतिय छन् । चीनिया लगानी अाउने र हाम्रो क्षेत्रमा बन्ने देखेपछि सुदुर पश्चिमस्थित यस आयोजना नबनुन भन्नाका लागि मात्र यो विरोध गरिएको आभास भएको छ ।
आन्तिरक खपतको लागि बन्ने यस आयोजनाको सहि तरिका र छिटो समयमा बन्न लगाउन यहाँ सकरात्मक सोच राखेकोमा यहाँलाई घन्यबाद दिंन चाहन्छौ ।

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

West Seti - India upset as she wil be deprived of the high quality electricity at rock bottom price

March 27, 2012

To: 'Narayan Krishna Singh'
Cc: ''; '"Neraparty"'; '
Subject: RE: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

Narayan jee

One can clearly see how frustrated you are after reading your email below. I too tend to become frustrated at times. But the problems that we have aplenty will not get resolved by becoming frustrated, depressed, etc. I believe that people like us don’t have “right to be pessimistic.” We have to actively work against all the forces/elements that are hindering exploitation of Nepal’s water resources in Nepal’s interest; they are working hard to have India benefit from Nepal’s water resources which amounts to colonial exploitation of Nepal’s resources.

As current incarnation of West Seti is in Nepal’s interest, I am doing my level best to ensure that this gets implemented. I urge you to join us. We organized an interaction program yesterday at Bhojan Griha for the purpose where we invited members of the parliamentary committee on natural resources. After listening to me and a few of my like minded friends, Gagan Thapa, Member of CA agreed with me and also made commitment that the parliamentary committee will not do anything to adversely impact implementation of this project in Nepal’s interest.

What we need to keep in mind is the fact that with West Seti being developed to meet Nepal’s internal need, India is very upset as they are going to be deprived of the high quality electricity at rock bottom price. And, unfortunately, there are many people Nepal that would have India benefit from our water resources rather than Nepal benefiting from her own natural resources. We need to identify these people and neutralize them.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA

Senior Water Resource Analyst

From: Narayan Krishna Singh []

Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 17:00

To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha;; "Neraparty";

Subject: Re: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

Dear All,

As a lay man, I can say that there is no intellectual in Nepal. If there is any intellectual, Nepal will not be in this situation and position, now. A small example we can see from a scandal when Nepal Airlines tries to buy aircrafts. The another example, the fly over bridges in Kathmandu that are constructed are asked to stop to construct when these are about to finish.

Nepali people do not have mentality to develop Nepal. Because it is not necessary to develop Nepal, and Nepal should not be developed. If Nepal is developed we the Nepalese will not have chances to visit foreign countries very frequently. If Nepal is developed, Nepalese children do not need to go abroad to study. If Nepal is developed, Nepalese people do not need to go to Arab countries to work. As all the Nepalese people love to go abroad, why should we develop our county, and why do we need to develop our county Nepal?

If we are managing without electricity for 14 hours a day; if we are managing our day to day life with frequent shortage of water and fuel (petrol, diesel, cooking gas, etc.) and Bandhas; if we can manage with worse condition of roads where neither we can drive nor can walk, etc., we are extra ordinary people in the world, which no one can do so in other parts of the world; after all we the Nepalese are world renown for our Bravery. So we do not need West Seti, east seti, north seti, whatever we call it. Let us stop any project or thought what ever it may be; let us go back to medieval era to live in (peaceful) primitive life.
N. K. Singh


From: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 6:58 AM
Subject: FW: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

Dear Colleague
West Seti is getting dragged into controversy again. However, this time it is for different/wrong reasons.

Monday, March 26, 2012

West Seti and intellectual servitidue

March 26, 2012
Bihari Shrestha
Kathmandu Nepal

Bihari Krishna jee

It definitely is true that the signing of MoU lacks transparency. However, this isn’t first time. NC and UML have signed many a MoUs without any transparency. The mitigating factor in the case of this MoU is the fact that the project will be built not only for electrification in Nepal, but also to avail power for industrialization of Nepal.

If NC and UML have no ill intention and are for transparency then they should amend Section 35 of Electricity Act 1992 instead of trying to brow beat present government just for emulating their own modus operandi.

In the instance of West Seti, lack of transparency doesn’t matter as Nepal’s interest will be served by being able to buy power at lowest possible price and we already have a benchmark established by the MoU signed between SMEC and PTC India which is US 4.95 ¢/unit. The avoided cost of peak-in power form a storage project is around Rs 30/unit for diesel plant (generation from no other source of energy is comparable to peak-in power from storage project). Therefore, we need to put pressure on GoN to ensure that they don’t agree to buy West Seti power for more than the benchmark level.
This could also be a pro-India move as if these people are suffering from intellectual servitude, because India will now be deprived from much needed and cheap peak-in power.

There is no gainsaying talking about money. Because, there is simply no guarantee that Maoists have refrained from taking money, knowing them and if the people complaining do have inside information, then they may be doing so out of sheer jealousy.
For a Nepali what is most important is to ensure ample power for not only suppressed economic growth. We need to avail power beyond normal growth to accelerated growth.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

From: Bihari Shrestha []
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 0:30
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
Subject: Re: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

Dear Ratna Sansarjee,

The NC and UML in particular are complaining about lack of transparency in reaching this deal. Is that an excuse for their pro-India move? What do you think? Or is it that, they are dong som "tang ladaune" for some money which, they probably think, the Maoists have made in a large quantity.



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

From: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 6:55 AM
Subject: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

Dear Colleague
West Seti is getting dragged into controversy again. However, this time it is for different/wrong reasons.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

CA's perspective on West Seti to be implemented by Three Gorges

March 25, 2012
Ms. Pushpa Bhusal
Member, CA

Pushpa jee

I am delighted to learn that you do agree me; quite a few other CAs representing your party and some from UML fail to understand my sentiments. I am not associated with any party and I don’t base my views on which party is doing what.

I comment on the basis of whether Nepal’s economy and people of Nepal benefit or not. This project built for the internal consumption of Nepal will help our motherland in industrialization which will lead to employment generation enabling the youth to stay home instead of going abroad just to be exploited financially and even sexually. Previous incarnation of west seti contravened Article 156 of constitution and infringed upon the right of the CA.
Even now I am against Upper Karnali and Arun III projects for two reasons. The agreements contravene Article 156 and infringes upon the right of CA.

We are organizing an interaction program tomorrow at Bhojan Griha from 10:45 to 13:00 hrs. We invite you to the program. I look forward to meet you if you could spare some time.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

From: pushpa bhusal []
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 8:20
Subject: RE: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

Dear Ratnaji,

you have rightly pointed about the west seti project. we do agree in you concern. this is good opportunity to nepal to get energy for we all citizen. as well as this is good opportunity to our government to do another agreement with others and beware of such kinds of the condition.

thankyou for you intellectual contribution regarding these issuse.

pushpa bhusal, CA Member


Subject: FW: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 06:59:15 +0545

Dear Colleague

West Seti is getting dragged into controversy again. However, this time it is for different/wrong reasons.

Friday, March 23, 2012

RE: FW: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

March 23, 2012
Pradeep Gyawali

Pradeep jee
This isn't 'high voltage nationalistic jargon' in the interest of our motherland at all. If it nationalistic at all then, the hue and cry is in the interest of India which is going to be deprived from high quality power from this project at rock bottom prices. It looks as if that they are in favor of exporting high quality power at rock bottom price than use it for internal consumption of Nepal. It clearly shows where does their loyalty lies.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

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

From: smriti aryal []
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 16:17
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
Subject: Re: FW: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily
Dear Ratnaji,

I agree with you. The unnecessary controversy over this project may jeopardize the potentials of hydro generating for domestic purpose. Once we become self reliant on power, then our bargaining capacity to export will definitely increase. I wonder whose interest we are serving under 'high voltage nationalistic jargon.'
On 3/15/12, Ratna Sansar Shrestha wrote:

> Dear Colleague

> West Seti is getting dragged into controversy again. However, this time it is for different/wrong reasons.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Intellectual servitude

March 22, 2012
Govinda Bahadur Thapa

Dear Govinda Bahadur jee

Yes, there are quite a few people who opine that electricity from rivers in Nepal should be generated only by Indian companies, that too for consumption in India. For some strange reason they seem to believe that Nepal’s electricity crisis will be solved by exporting power to India; almost as if implying that Nepal is part of India.

You have touched the raw nerve with regard to India grabbing rivers and not doing any work. They do so to preempt Nepal from using water for consumptive uses like irrigation. Good example of this is upper Karnali. If this project is implemented at its full potential (storage project with installed capacity of 4,180 MW) as a multipurpose project then, with Nepal using water from this project during dry season for irrigation for multiple cropping, India will be deprived from dry season augmented/regulated flow during dry season. Unfortunately for us in Nepal, there are many Nepali intellectuals who are actively working to further this very agenda of India.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

From: govinda thapa []
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 11:53
Subject: RE: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

Dear Ratna Sansarji,
Some people also seem to have opinion in Nepal that electrity from the Nepali rivers should be generated by none other than the Indian Companies. And India on the other hand grabs the river and never execute it as in the case of Mahakali river. India has realized its hidden objective in Mahakali river because Nepal will have to struggle hard to get rid of India from this project even if Nepal either wants to do by itself or invites some one else for negotiation.

Govinda Bahadur Thapa
Subject: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 06:56:44 +0545

Dear Colleague
West Seti is getting dragged into controversy again. However, this time it is for different/wrong reasons.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dristi watchdog on West Seti

March 21, 2012
Shambhu Shrestha
Editor and Publisher
Dristi Weekly

Shambhu jee

I have been subscribing to Dristi since a long time and have been reading it without missing an issue. Because, we are in agreement with regards to most of the issues. I fully agree with you that compared to previous incarnation of west seti, export oriented, the new incarnation (implementation entrusted to Three Gorges International Co. for consumption in Nepal) is in Nepal’s interest.

I have read your column yesterday in the last page of this week too, focused on mainly west seti with avid interest and I am impelled to make a few comments.

You have ascribed cancellation of previous incarnation of Arun III (201 MW) to the “infamous letter” penned by Madhav Nepal and you have gone on to blame him, the letter he wrote and cancellation of Arun III, for the load shedding that we are suffering from now. In my considered opinion, it is unfair to blame him for all this.

• When World Bank withdrew from Arun III in 1995, Nepal had 313.14 MW installed capacity in its system. If Arun III would have been built, total installed capacity would have reached 514.14 MW only. We now have about 700 MW and we are still grappling with load shedding and, therefore, it will be disingenuous to imagine that we would not have suffered from load shedding by having implemented Arun III.

• One can hypothetically say that if Arun III had been implemented we would have had 901 MW installed capacity. But installed capacity of this level would generate only about 300 MW in dry season and, therefore, even under this scenario the load shedding would have been inevitable as the dry season demand now is 1,056 MW.

• Moreover, Arun III and most of the new projects that got implemented after cancellation of Arun III are mutually exclusive. Meaning, with the cancellation of Arun III, ADB used money earmarked for it to build Kali Gandaki A (144 MW), similarly KfW financed to build Middle Marshyangdi (70 MW) with money it had earmarked for Arun III. Further, due to the covenant restricting Nepal from building projects bigger than 10 MW till Arun III is commissioned, World Bank would not have been able to finance Khimti (60 MW) and Bhote Koshi (36 MW) and NEA would not have been able to build both Modi (14.8 MW) and Chilime (22 MW). In sum, as Arun III got cancelled instead of 201 MW, Nepal succeeded to add 346 MW. Therefore, if Madhav Nepal is to get “credit” for the cancellation of Arun III, then because of his efforts Nepal succeeded to add 346 MW to the system instead of just 201 MW.

I have written an in-depth paper on this subject which you can refer to by clicking the link below:

You have correctly stated that they failed to sign Mahakali treaty in Nepal’s interest.

I again differ with your comment regarding upper Karnali. At the moment it has been conceived against Nepal’s interest and we need to restructure to ensure that Nepal is able to benefit from this project to the maximum extent possible. It is not a matter of who does invest and who doesn’t. It is a question as to how to ensure Nepal’s interest.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

RE: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

March 20, 2012
Dr Mohan Lohani

Dear Dr Lohani

It is definitely irregular to award a project without competition which also lacks transparency. But GoN seems to have done so using authority under section 35 of Electricity Act. At least parliamentarians shouldn’t be complaining as such as they have had every opportunity to amend this provision if they want things to be done transparently on a competitive basis. Perhaps, they don’t want to amend it as they may need to do things in similar manner when they themselves ascend to the “thrones” of power. If that is true then they have no moral right to complain now.

There is no way to prove or disprove “underhand deal” as smart people don’t sign receipts or any other documents when they receive/accept “bribes.” It is for agencies like to CIAA to investigate this angle. For people like us what is important is to see to it that the project is being implemented in national interest. Nepal is not even and under-developed country, it is downright backward country for lack of electricity for industrialization which is compelling the youth to migrate, merely to be exploited financially as well as sexually abroad. Therefore, in my considered opinion previous incarnation of West Seti (slated to be implemented by SMEC) was against the national interest of this country. Further, that project agreement with SMEC also contravened Article of 156 of Nepal’s constitution and infringed upon the right of the parliament. But the parliamentarians, as they didn’t raise their voice against that, they, surprisingly, didn’t see any problem with any of these. I wonder why! I have met people who suspect “underhand deal” in all that. (I, in my capacity of a legal practitioner, did take GoN to Supreme Court against that incarnation).

It may be also the case that SMEC is greasing some palms to make all this noise.
The new incarnation definitely does serve our national interest as far of electricity becoming available for industrialization of Nepal is concerned; not just for electrification. But we still have “miles to go” because the government has maintained studied silence with regard to augmented/regulated flow of water from the reservoir during dry season; it effectively will be served in a silver platter to India if we are to keep quiet. India will definitely invoke right to tail-water under international law if it succeeds to use the augmented/regulated flow during one dry season. Therefore, Nepal needs to have canal network in place to irrigate agricultural land in districts like Kailali, Bardia, Banke, etc. in time for commissioning of this project.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst
From: Mohan Lohani []
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 10:43
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
Subject: Re: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

Dear Ratna Sansarji,

Thanks for your views and comments on the West Seti project which, as you say, has been dragged into controversy.I heard your interview on Radio Nepal a couple of days ago and listened to your arguments with great interest.Those who oppose the West Seti project like Pashupati SJBR argue that this project lacks transparency and the way MOU has been signed with the Chinese company smacks of the underhand deal like bargain for hefty commission.Please explain to me the reality behind the whole game of MOU and opposition by members of the parliamentary committee on Natural Resources.

With regards,

Mohan Lohani
From: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 6:58 AM
Subject: FW: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

Dear Colleague
West Seti is getting dragged into controversy again. However, this time it is for different/wrong reasons.

Monday, March 19, 2012

RE: FW: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

March 19, 2012

Dirgha Raj Prasai

Dirgha Raj jee

Good to hear from you. Thanks a lot for wishing me good health and prosperity.

I disagree with you that I have done a lot for our motherland. Simply because people are yet to understand whether a specific concept benefits the motherland or not. I am endeavoring for them to understand it.

On the other hand you too do have a point. People with colonial intellectuality will always work for the benefit of other countries, instead of the motherland.
With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA

Senior Water Resource Analyst

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

From: Dirgha Raj Prasai []

Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 7:18

To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha

Subject: Re: FW: West Seti getting dragged into controversy unnecessarily

Respected Mr. Ratna Sansar Shrestha jee !

Good Morning !

I hope your good health and prosperity.
I think, you have done a lot for the country fighting against the traitors who called so-called politicians and intellectuals. They are all the supporter of unequal Mahakali treaty. So, you know- we Nepalese analysts are suffering from their confused and anti-nationalistic roles. Actually, these persons who are surving the agendas of RAW and CIA for Job and money.

So, I extend thanks !

You wrote- 'May god help Nepal from notorious type of intellectuals in Nepal !'

OK ?

Thank you.

Dirgha Raj Prasai
On 3/15/12, Ratna Sansar Shrestha wrote:

> Dear Colleague
> West Seti is getting dragged into controversy again. However, this time it is for different/wrong reasons.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sponsored controversy re West Seti Project

West Seti is getting dragged into controversy again. However, this time it is for different/wrong reasons.

There are some people suffering from "intellectual servitude" who are agonizing over the fact that India will now be deprived of high quality electricity (power/energy) at rock bottom tariff from this project. It is time for intellectuals devoted to the motherland to make themselves heard over the din of the opposition that it is "intellectual poverty" to expect load shedding and lack of industrialization in Nepal (hence lack of employment which is getting translated into huge balance of trade and balance of payment deficit for lack of meaningful “production”) to be mitigated by exporting power. In my reckoning Nepal will have to consume/use 5,000 MW to attain normal growth rate (contrasted from suppressed growth rate that is prevailing in Nepal now) in 5 years time and 10,000 MW to achieve accelerated economic growth, which was envisaged even by Dr Bhattarai (“leapfrog” was the word he used) who didn’t even lift a finger for the purpose, though.

There is another type of intellectuals suffering from “servitude” who deny that Nepal can even consume/use power from this project, just 750 MW; therefore, their one line agenda is: Nepal should be exporting power. They forget that Nepal is not only an under-industrialized country it is actually bereft of any industrialization that add value to the economy, except for slip-slap industries, producing things like the Mustang jeep that Dr Bhattarai “glides in”, which doesn’t add an iota of value into Nepal’s economy. Nepal needs to use electricity in increasing quantum not only to industrialize at higher level, but to electrify transport to displace fossil fuel, to electrify agriculture sector (for irrigation services, for cold storage, for agro processing), to process minerals like lime stone, to process herbs, et al.

There is another group of people suffering from both intellectual poverty and servitude (a case of double whammy) who pontificate that if an Indian investor is to invest in a hydropower project, then Nepal has no choice but to export it to India. Three Gorges International has just proved how wrong these people are, as no power from West Seti project will be exported to China; not even by “satellite”. Hence, this group too has started to oppose new “incarnation” of West Seti project.

There is a saying: you don’t need enemies, when you have such friends. May god help Nepal from this type of intellectuals!

However, the saving grace lies in the fact that Nepal has intellectuals aplenty who don’t suffer from intellectual poverty; neither Nepal lacks intellectuals who aren’t bound by intellectual servitude

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

लौ न कसैले भनिदिनोस् -म आदिवासी कि जनजाति ?

March 13, 2012 7:00

To: 'Bedh Prakash Upreti'
Dear Bedh Prakash
Thanks a lot for your encouraging words.
I am used to call a spade a spade; that too without mincing words. In the context of the captioned matter one needs to think with love of the motherland in sight; firmly embedded in the heart and mind. My heart is pretty small – the size of a fist. But I seem to be one of the patriots of this country who have love for the motherland in huge quantum.
The very fact that you have taken time to send following email to me indicates that you too are of same “breed”. I am very pleased to meet “bird of same feather”.

Much appreciated.
With best regards,

Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

From: Bedh Prakash Upreti []
Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2012 9:50

Subject: RE: [NNSD] Launa Kasaile Bhanidinuhos, Ma Aa-dhibasi ki Janjati?
Dear Ratna Sansar:
You seem to have a heart and mind as big as the "Sansar" itself. Great !

I agree with your views.

Thank you for stating the reality.


BP Upreti

Saturday, March 10, 2012

State Restructuring on ethnocentric lines

Three things:

One, as a Newar it is nice to be called aadibashi (aboriginal/indigenous/native) and nicer to have Kathmandu valley named after my ethnocentric (ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious) community. However, it is not possible for anyone to claim to being native to Kathmandu valley as it was initially a lake. My own ancestors arrived here via Simraungarh over a millennium ago which disproves the claims of Newar to being native to this land – nobody is except for fish, frog, et al.

I have just googled and reconfirmed, for example, that Sherpas migrated more than 500 years ago from Tibet and, therefore, the claims of Sherpas being native to the land there are now inhabiting comes unhinged. In this backdrop, the debate as to who is a native to the land and who isn’t is not worth the time and energy in doing so and provincializing Nepal on the basis of some ethnocentric communities being native to the land is not prudent.
Two, I am a Newar and recognition of my identity is important for me. But I also need to be aware of the fact that it is against the tenets of democracy to recognize identity of only a few ethnocentric communities and not to do so in the case of the identity of other over 90 ethnocentric communities. This amounts to blatant discrimination against the ethnocentric groups whose identities will not get “recognized”; mitigation of which lies in creation of over 90 ethnocentric groups resulting in “provincialization” (fragmentation) of a small country like Nepal in over 100 ethnocentric provinces; setting in centrifugal forces.

Three, Nepal is spending about Rs 1 billion/year on executive (prime ministers, ministers and their “cronies”), legislature, judiciary, and various other commissions now. Upon provincialization each “state” will need their own executive (prime ministers, ministers and their “cronies”), legislature, judiciary, and various other commissions which will entail spending at least about Rs 0.5 billion/year in each state. Spending Rs 5 billion/year (if we are to have only 10 states) when people are dying of famine and for lack of clean water to drink and for sanitation is waste of precious resources. Once provinces are created on ethnocentric lines, then the centrifugal force will set in and every so often Nepal will be carving off new states for the remaining ethnocentric communities and thereby increasing such spending.
The children of our motherland need to introspect on these lines and decide what is good for our motherland.

Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

RE: Hydropower potential of Nepal is 105 MW thousands found by Chinese company

March 7, 2012
Krishna Sunwuar
Ace Institute of Management
EMBA program

Krishna jee
Good to hear from you.
When Dr Hari Man Shrestha estimated hydropower potential of Nepal in early 60s, nothing like computer existed; not even calculator (it was he who announced that theoretical potential to be 83,000 MW and economic potential 43,000 MW). He probably was doing his work with the only assistance of slide-rule. Unfortunately, nobody after him tried to study this aspect so far. Besides, coming up with exact number will depend upon building up inventory list of the projects which will call for quite a lot of time, energy and cost because people will have to visit each potential project site on all rivers (there are more than 6,000 rivers in Nepal and each river will have more than one project site).

On the other hand, the installed capacity can easily be increased by simply lowering exceedance by basing on Dr Shrestha’s work itself. Besides, I don’t think the Chinese have gone through the rigorous process I have mentioned above to arrive at the conclusion you have quoted. Nevertheless, what is important for Nepal at the moment is to get on with building projects which have been categorically identified as bankable projects such that (1) those with access to electricity (about 25%) are liberated from the curse of load shedding, (2) those deprived of access to electricity are provided with electricity and (3) most importantly, about 10,000 MW power is availed for Nepal’s industrialization and electrification of transportation in order for Nepal to achieve accelerated growth within 5 years without which Nepal will not be able to rise above the vicious cycle it is stuck in.

I wish you all the best.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

From: Krish
Date: Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 9:35 AM
Subject: Hydropower potential of Nepal is 105 MW thousands found by Chinese company
Dear Ratna Sansar!
Six month before, I had chance to attend your presentation on Hydropower of Nepal in Ace Institute of Management. I am one of student EMBA. My name is Krishna Sunuwar. It was very interesting session, I fact I wrote paper on basis of your presentation (
The reason behind writing you is that, recently I come across the news that Chinese company is saying that Nepal's potential hydro power generation is 105MW. They wanted to run servey, but Govt. of Nepal denied. Is this true? Or it just media gimmick created by Three Gorges for controversy.
Thank you sir.
Best Regards
Krishna Sunwuar

Friday, March 2, 2012


- with particular reference to issues related to hydropower generation

The Interim Legislature-Parliament of Nepal amended Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007 for the first time in March 2007 to adopt federal system by inserting word “federal” in Article 138 (1). This entails demolishing centralized and unitary system and spinning off of various geographic areas into a number of constituent units (states or provinces). With the planned restructuring of the State as such, division of natural resources, including water resources, amongst the constituent units, gained importance and prominence. Nepal is famed for its hydro resource which entails utilization of water resource and an in-depth look at it is imperative from the federal perspective. This ranges from how to address the issue in the future Constitution to technical issues related to how to ensure optimum exploitation of hydropower potential as a potential site could lie in more than one constituent unit. Prior to dealing with specifics of water governance in “Federal” Nepal with particular reference to issues related to hydropower generation a few terms needs to be defined.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines water as “the liquid that descends from the clouds as rain, forms streams, lakes, and seas, and is a major constituent of all living matter and that when pure is an odorless, tasteless, very slightly compressible liquid oxide of hydrogen H2O which appears bluish in thick layers, freezes at 0° C and boils at 100° C, has a maximum density at 4° C and a high specific heat, is feebly ionized to hydrogen and hydroxyl ions, and is a poor conductor of electricity and a good solvent.” People don’t think of it in such an elaborate form when they drink it to quench their thirst; neither while putting it to various other uses for human beings, animals and plants.

Some consider water a common good while it gets treated all over the world as social and economic good. 1992 Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development has propounded a principle (No. 4) saying that “Water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognized as an economic good.” It goes on to say that “Within this principle, it is vital to recognize first the basic right of all human beings to have access to clean water and sanitation at an affordable price. Past failure to recognize the economic value of water has led to wasteful and environmentally damaging uses of the resource. Managing water as an economic good is an important way of achieving efficient and equitable use, and of encouraging conservation and protection of water resources.”
Water use is often distinguished between consumptive use and non-consumptive use. Consumptive use relates to the water which cannot be used again, because it is lost to the atmosphere (for example “evapotranspiration” by plants, animals and humans, and evaporation from open water bodies) or polluted to such an extent that it cannot be used again further in the hydrological cycle. Whereas water uses from which water can be used again elsewhere in the hydrological cycle (for example through reuse of return flows or recharge of groundwater) is deemed non-consumptive use.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) defines water governance as “the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions, through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences.” Whereas according to Rogers and Hall (2003) water governance “refers to the range of political, organizational and administrative processes through which communities articulate their interests, their input is absorbed, decisions are made and implemented, and decision makers are held accountable in the development and management of water resources and delivery of water services.”

UNDP and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have identified four dimensions of water governance: social, economic, political and environmental. The social dimension manifests equitable use of water resources. Apart from being unevenly distributed in time and space, water is also unevenly distributed among various socio-economic strata of society in both rural and urban settlements. How water quality and quantity and related services are allocated and distributed have direct impacts on people’s health as well as on their livelihood opportunities. Australia’s average per person water consumption was 493 liters per day while in USA it was 575 liters daily in 2008 while China's daily per capita consumption in 2006 was 86 liters. The weighed daily water use per inhabitant in urban Kathmandu is estimated at 73 liters only (Joshi et al 2003). From this one could fairly easily estimate that weighed daily water use per inhabitant in rural areas will be much lower.
The economic dimension draws attention to the efficient use of water resources and the role of water in overall economic growth. Prospects for aggressive poverty reduction and economic growth remain highly dependent on water and other natural resources. Studies have illustrated that per capita incomes and the quality of governance are strongly positively correlated across countries. Better governance exerts a powerful effect on per capita incomes.
The political empowerment dimension involves granting water stakeholders and citizens at large equal democratic opportunities to influence and monitor political processes and outcomes. At both national and international levels, marginalized citizens, such as indigenous people, women, slum dwellers, etc., are rarely recognized as legitimate stakeholders in water related decision-making, and typically lack voices, institutions and capacities for promoting their water interests to the outside world. Empowering women, as well as other socially, economically and politically weak groups, is critical to achieving more focused and effective water management and actions to ensure greater equity.

The last dimension is one of environmental sustainability which shows that improved governance allows for enhanced sustainable use of water resources and ecosystem integrity. The sufficient flow of quality water is critical to maintaining ecosystem functions and services and sustaining groundwater aquifers, wetlands, and other wildlife habitats. A worrisome sign is that water quality appears to have declined worldwide in most regions with intensive agriculture and large urban and industrial areas. With the reduction and pollution of natural habitats, the diversity of freshwater flora and fauna is becoming increasingly threatened. Poor people’s livelihood opportunities, in particular, depend directly upon sustained access to natural resources, including water – especially since they tend to live in marginalized areas that are prone to pollution, droughts and floods. The essential role of water for maintaining a healthy environment is being increasingly emphasized in the change of attitudes towards wetlands, which is an encouraging sign.
In many countries water governance is in a state of confusion: in some countries there is a total lack of water institutions, and others display fragmented institutional structures or conflicting decision-making structures. In many places conflicting upstream and downstream interests regarding riparian rights and access to water resources are pressing issues that need immediate attention; in many other cases there are strong tendencies to divert public resources for personal gain, or unpredictability in the use of laws and regulations and licensing practices impede markets and voluntary action and encourage corruption. In many developing countries the modality of public private partnership is being used for private profit at public cost.

Effective water governance is imperative due to increasing demand, scarcity of fresh water and corruption. In Nepal Middle Marshyangdi Hydropower Project implementation, for example, is a poignant example of corruption in a specific subsector of water resource. The impunity manifest in lack of any punitive action against the responsible has added insult to injury. It has become well accepted that integrated water resource management could go a long way in the effective water governance, except for the moral hazard.

It is obvious from the title of this study that its focus is on hydropower generation and that too in “federal” Nepal. Moreover, it is mainly based on available secondary data, studies, reports and information available in the public domain as well as unstructured interviews with key informants.

Chapter 1 of the report submitted to Forum of Federations, part of which was published by FoF

Thursday, March 1, 2012


“Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink”
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data water availability per person per year (Appendix 2) in Nepal was 9,122 m3 in 2002. Whereas it was quite low in the neighboring countries; 2,961 m3 in Pakistan, 2,642 m3 in Sri Lanka, 2,259 m3 in China and1,880 m3 in India. Even compared to other affluent Asian countries water availability in Nepal is quite high (ranging from 3,383 m3 in Japan to 149 m3 in Singapore). However, Nepal is suffering from water poverty; water scarcity is rampant. Only a pampered few have access to piped water (the taps are dry most of the time) and rest are dependent upon the conventional sources like unsafe wells, lake, river, spring, etc. Generally, piped water is deemed safe and clean, contrasted with conventional sources. However, this is untrue in Nepal and, consequently, deaths due to water and sanitation-related diseases are also widespread; advertisements exhorting people to drink only boiled water has become a dependable source of revenue for electronic as well as print media.

The contradiction inherent in Nepal being known as rich in water resources while people are water-poor is due to the fact that about 80% of Nepal's annual rainfall takes place during monsoon season, approximately from June through to September, and the remainder of the year is pretty dry. In other words, Nepal suffers from flood during 4 months of wet season and the drought rest of the year; manifestation of the temporal problem. Additionally Nepal also has spatial problem; water not available even during wet seasons where needed and available where not needed. A real life tragicomic situation of “water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink!”

The situation obtaining in Nepal forces one to ponder why she is deemed rich in water resources! Nepal is not rich because of the water flowing in the rivers in hugely different quantities in the wet season and the dry season (a difference of a huge magnitude) but she is rich in water resources potentially due to her terrain and topography: (a) due to water falling from higher elevation affording “head” for electricity generation along with the “flow,” (b) narrow gorges affording ideal and cost effective locations to build reservoirs to store water in the wet season for use in dry season (solving temporal problem) to increase cropping intensity and to generate peak-in energy and (c) such reservoirs affording flood control facility in the lower riparian areas. This is corroborated by the fact that, although all the water flowing in Nepal drains into River Ganga in Indian states of UP, Bihar and West Bengal, these areas are not famous for being rich in water resources as the terrain and topography there does not afford opportunity to add temporal and spatial value to the flowing water; neither to control flood nor to generate electricity cost effectively.
The main natural resource with potential to chart Nepal’s destiny is the water resources, in the backdrop of depleting forest, non-existent minerals (except for good quality limestone which is raw material for energy intensive cement industry – capable of consuming hydropower in substantial quantum which in turn requires exploitation of water resources). Section 7 (1) of Water Resources Act, 1992 has fixed following “priority order” for the utilization of water resources:
i. drinking water & sanitation
ii. irrigation
iii. agricultural uses including animal husbandry and fisheries
iv. hydropower
v. cottage industry, industrial enterprise, and mining uses
vi. navigation (water transportation)
vii. recreational uses
viii. others

The case of irrigation too isn’t different from water and sanitation situation described above. Of 3.97 million hectares of cultivated area in Nepal there is some irrigation only in 0.5 million hectares (Appendix 3), that too mostly during wet season. Similar is the case of other agricultural uses of water, including for animal husbandry and fisheries. Out of the theoretical potential of 83,000 MW hydropower, merely 644.136 MW has been developed, according to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA 2010) so far. Industrial use of water is very limited. The only water transportation facility exists in the reservoir of Kali Gandaki A project and some water sport based tourism (mainly rafting and canoeing), existing on some rivers is the only recreational uses of Nepal’s water resource.

The last priority of “others” includes customary, cultural and spiritual uses which deserve to be accorded higher priority. In Nepal custom and culture, including festivals, of all ethno-cultural-religious-linguistic (ethnocentric) groups are woven around water body (river, well, spring, lake/pond, fountain, water-fall, etc.). Even traditional fairs are held/organized in and/or around water bodies. Water from various rivers is required for rituals ranging from enthronement/coronation of kings (prior to abolition of monarchy) to cremation of the indigent subsequent to death. Famous ancient architecture can be seen on the embankments of rivers and ponds/lake and terraced structures of stone spouts have carvings and even carved idols on stone and metals in abundance.

A proper context needs to be established by taking a cursory look at the history and major events related to Nepal’s water resources in general and hydropower in particular, including trans-boundary conflicts and cooperation within the country.

Koshi Agreement was signed in April 1954 (and amended in 1966) between Nepal and India to “construct a barrage, head-works and other appurtenant work[s]” called Koshi Project “for the purpose of flood control, irrigation, generation of hydroelectric power.” The treaty was silent with regard to quantum of land to be irrigated and electricity generated. However, according to SK Malla, 969,110 hectares is irrigated in India and only 24,480 hectares in Nepal (Malla 1995). Similarly, Nepal was supposed to receive half of electricity from a 20 MW power plant. But the installed capacity of the power plant built at Kataiya in India got scaled down to 13.6 MW and Nepal’s entitlement got reduced to 6.8 MW (Pun 2004). Due to which the treaty gets roundly condemned all the time in Nepal.

Plans are afoot to build a 269-meter high Koshi High Dam, with gross reservoir volume of 13,450 million m3, to generate 3,000 MW power and to build 3 power houses of 100 MW each on each of the three canal power houses, thereby generating 18,239 giga-watt-hours (GWh) energy in total. There is also plan to irrigate 0.546 million ha in Nepal and 0.976 ha in India (JPO 2002). Besides, this project also will result in power benefit, flood control benefit and navigation benefit. However, Nepal will have to internalize all the cost of inundation of 80 villages in 11 districts and displacement of 0.4 million people (including indigenous and tribal people). In this backdrop, prima facie India is likely to benefit disproportionately with Nepal bearing all non-cash costs.
Therefore, the benefit sharing of this project needs to be structured on the lines of Columbia Treaty between Governments of Canada and the United States of America, executed in January, 1964. Under Clause 1 of Article V, Canada is entitled to one half the downstream power benefits and specific payment for flood control. Clause 1 of Article VII defines “power benefits” as “the difference in the hydroelectric power capable of being generated in the United States of America with and without the use of Canadian storage.” Additionally Canada also receives “Payment for Flood Control” of substantial amount from USA under Article VI.

It is laudable that India has accepted “absolute territorial sovereignty” of Nepal on the water of this river pursuant to the stipulation in Article 4 (i) which states that “HMG shall have every 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.” This is a very important provision of this treaty which is in Nepal’s favor. While India has “the right to regulate all the balance of supplies in the Kosi river at the barrage site thus available from time to time and to generate power in the Eastern Canal” thereby limiting Indian entitlement to water from this river.
Gandak Agreement “on the Gandak Irrigation and Power Project” was executed in December 1959 (and amended in 1964). Unlike Koshi treaty, Article 7 of this treaty spells out the quantum of land to be irrigated in Nepal. It stipulates that 40,000 acres (16,187 ha) shall be irrigated through Western Nepal Canal and 103,500 acres (41,884 ha) through Eastern Nepal Canal in Nepal. Article 8 of this treaty also envisaged construction of a 15 MW power plant of which 10 MW power was earmarked for Nepal. Interestingly though, there is no mention of the quantum of land that will be irrigated in India. But according to Government of Bihar publication (GoB 1960), in total 3.9 million acres (1.6 million ha) land is irrigated in UP and Bihar. Whereas, only 39,000 ha is actually irrigated in Nepal (UN 2000). This kind of unequal benefit sharing has upset people in Nepal forcing them to demand abrogation of such an unequal treaty.

In this treaty too there is a silver lining in as much as the provision of Article 9 is concerned. India has accepted Nepal’s absolute territorial sovereignty over Gandak River with a restriction on inter-basin transfer of water from this river during dry months. It stipulates that “His Majesty’s Government will continue to have the right to withdraw for irrigation or any other purpose from the river or its tributaries in Nepal such supplies of water as may be required by them from time to time in the Valley. For the trans-Valley uses of Gandak waters, separate agreements between His Majesty’s Government and the Government of India will be entered into for the uses of waters in the months of February to April only.”

Mahakali treaty was executed in April 1995 in the wake of GoN’s failure to get Tanakpur agreement (chosen to be called an “understanding” by the then government which was made public through a joint communiqué of October 1992) ratified by the parliament. Under of Article 1 Clause 1 this treaty Nepal is to “have the right to a supply of 28.35m3/s (1000 cusecs) of water from the Sarada Barrage in the wet season (i.e. from 15th May to 15th October) and 4.25m3/s (150 cusecs) in the dry season”. This treaty too is deafeningly silent as regards the total quantum of water available in the river and the area of land to be irrigated in India.

Prior to execution of this treaty India was allowed to use 2.9 hectares of Nepali land for the construction of eastern afflux bund of Tanakpur power station, 120 megawatt (MW), and in return India agreed to supply 70 GWh electricity free of cost to Nepal, pursuant to Clause 2 of Article 2 of the treaty.

Article 3 stipulates that both parties “have equal entitlement in the utilization of the waters of the Mahakali River” in conformity with principle of equal sharing (rather than equitable sharing) agreed in the run up to signing of this treaty. However, a qualifying clause on “without prejudice to their respective existing consumptive uses of the waters” ended up with Nepal getting short changed. Because India was already using 93% of water illegitimately and upon execution of this treaty Nepal’s share shrank to 3.5% (instead of 50%) with India getting the rest.

Clause 2 of Article 3 envisages constructing Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project with “power station of equal capacity on each side of the River” while clause 3 stipulated that “the cost of the project shall be borne by the parties in proportion to the benefits accruing to them”; not equally. But there is no mention of basis or quantum of water that will be shared by each party from this project for the purposes of irrigation (using water stored in the reservoir during dry season). However, Ajaya Dixit has mentioned that 93,000 ha will be irrigated in Nepal and 1.61 million ha in India upon completion of this project, which is supposed to generate 6,840 MW (Dixit 2004), thereby contradicting the understanding that both water and electricity will be shared equally. This treaty is also silent with regard to flood control benefit accruing to India as a result of construction of the reservoir which will submerge 8,650 ha land in Nepal (43% of the land required for the reservoir) thereby displacing 65,000 people.

GoN formulated Hydropower Development Policy in 1992 and proclaimed Electricity Act, 1992 and Water Resources Act 1992 to implement the policy after which 404.518 MW was added to the integrated national power system (INPS); bringing the cumulative total to 697.846 MW (including 53.41 thermal). Prior to this, hydropower was in the domain of public sector, being a part of the infrastructure. Till this point in time the total installed hydropower capacity in INPS was 239.918 MW only; cumulative total of the projects built in 80 years since 1911 when the first one was built in Pharping (500 kW). Compared to first 80 years, Nepal accomplished remarkably well in less than 2 decades. But this period was a turbulent one too; marked by a number of milestones.
Cancellation of Arun III, by the World Bank on August 1, 1995, is a significant milestone which paved the path for private sector investment in the hydropower sector, both domestic and foreign. As the World Bank had imposed restriction on construction of projects of more than 10 MW installed capacity while Arun III was under implementation; NEA wouldn’t have been in a position to build projects like Modi (14 MW), Kali Gandaki A (144 MW) and Middle Marshyangdi (70 MW). Similarly private sector wouldn’t have been allowed to construct Khimti (60 MW), Bhote Koshi (36 MW) and Chilime (20 MW) projects. Additionally, there won’t have been necessary financing for Kali Gandaki A, as ADB used fund earmarked for Arun III for this project. Similarly, both Khimti and Bhote Koshi wouldn’t have been possible as the World Bank would never have agreed to breach its own covenant. Moreover, if Arun III was built, Kreditanstalt fur Weideraufbau (KfW – German development bank) wouldn’t have been in a position to help Nepal build Middle Marshyangdi project, as it diverted funding earmarked for Arun III, to Middle Marshyangdi. Therefore, post aborted Arun III, Nepal succeeded to increase generation capacity by 293.68 MW in total, with a total average annual generation of 1,793.36 GWh at the total cost of $ 729.81 million which works out to the average cost of $ 2,485 per kilowatt (kW), completed in 4.05 years in an average by the time Arun III was supposed to be commissioned, as can be seen from the table in Appendix 4 (Shrestha 2009). Contrasted with this, the anticipated achievement, had Nepal taken Arun III route, would have been addition of only 220 MW in the decade ending in 2005, including Arun III, with an average annual generation of 1,845.86 GWh at the total cost of $ 1,130.77 million, with the average cost working out to $ 5,143 per kW, to be completed in 5.17 years in an average. Due to this it does indeed come as a relief that the World Bank was right in cancelling Arun III. Additionally, it is also obvious that liberalization of hydropower subsector would not have been this successful but for cancellation of Arun III, which resulted in a breakthrough for first two hydropower projects with foreign direct investment (Khimti and Bhote Koshi).
GoN has signed agreements with private sector for the development of export-oriented hydropower projects (Arun III, Upper Karnali and West Seti). A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Arun III project, 402 MW, (201 MW project at the same site was cancelled in the previous decade by the World Bank) was signed in March 2008, the proponent of which has agreed to provide 21.9% electricity free of cost to Nepal. The capacity of this project has been, reportedly, optimized at 900 MW. Similarly, MoU for Upper Karnali, 300 MW, was signed in January 2008 with a provision for 12% free energy to GoN and 27% free equity to NEA. This project too, reportedly, has been optimized at 900 MW. Further, GoN signed project agreement for West Seti project, 750 MW, in June 1997 under which GoN is to receive 10% free energy.

Export of power by these projects entails sharing of output (electricity) by using water resources and this activity attracts the provision of article 156 of the Constitution that requires parliamentary ratification of agreements signed by the government for sharing of use of water resources (electricity generation being deemed use of water resource). Signing of these agreements hasn’t gone down too well with the harried electricity consumers too, who have stoically suffered the load shedding of up to 18 hours a day. These agreements have also failed to find favor in Nepal as these projects will be exporting good quality power to India at less than US 5 ¢ while Nepal is importing power from India at tariff ranging from US 11 ¢ to US 15 ¢.

West Seti project is a storage project and it not only generates 3,636 GWh of peak-in power and but also augments dry season flow of the river by 90 m3/s (Thapa 1995). Because of failure to conceptualize and develop this project as a multipurpose project, the dry season augmented/regulated flow generated by this project will fall in Indian lap (free of cost) which makes this project subject to parliamentary ratification for one more reason. Moreover, this quantum of augmented flow during the dry season (8 months) is worth $ 83 million (equivalent to Rs 6 billion approximately) annually (Shrestha 2009) based on the principle set forth by the treaty between Lesotho and South Africa. South Africa pays to Lesotho $25 million (in 1991 prices) each year to Lesotho for the supply of 18 m3/s of water (both for the purpose of irrigation and water supply) from Lesotho Highlands Water Project (Wallis 1992).

Execution of agreement for Upper Karnali project too has generated controversy as the particular location is a site for 4,180 MW storage project (HPC 1989) and development of it as a run-of-the-river project (that will generate 1.91 GWh) is mutually exclusive with storage project which will not only generate 17 GWh peak-in energy but will also generate augmented/regulated flow of about 500 m3/s, capable to irrigate 1.5 million hectares of land during the dry season in the lower riparian area. If Nepal is to make the water available to India (instead of using it for irrigation purposes in Nepal), Nepal could potentially earn Rs 52 billion annually (Shrestha 2010) if the rate agreed between Lesotho and South Africa is to be used as the reference price. However, no arrangement for this has been made.

All three agreement and MoUs are executed to export power from Nepal to India; the importer in India is PTC India Ltd., an Indian government enterprise. If agreements are to be signed at the State level for this purpose, parliamentary ratification of the agreements, explained above, will become mandatory. Therefore, there is a cross section of people who opine that GoN and Government of India (GoI) have resorted to this arrangement (signing back to back agreement with an intermediary) to avoid the process of parliamentary approval.
There are provisions related to water and hydropower in the bodies of law ranging from constitution to various Acts and Regulations. Similarly, International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention C 169 constitutes international law and there is provisions related to natural resources with respect to indigenous and tribal peoples.

Nepal’s Interim Constitution, 2007 has reposed the State with the responsibility “to use existing natural resources including water resources of the country for the interest of the nation” in Clause (o) of Article 33. Similarly, Article 35 (4) stipulates that “the State shall, while mobilizing the natural resources and heritage of the country that might be useful and beneficial to the interest of the nation, pursue a policy of giving priority to the local community” under State policies.
Moreover, Article 156 (2) requires “the ratification of, accession to, acceptance of or approval of treaty or agreements on” division of natural resources and their use “by a two-thirds majority of the total number of members of the Legislature-Parliament.” The proviso clause thereunder specifies that if the treaty or agreement referred to “is of ordinary nature which does not affect the nation extensively, seriously or in the long-term, the ratification of, accession to, acceptance of or approval of such treaty or agreement may be done at a meeting of the Legislature-Parliament by a simple majority of the members present.” One school of thought is of the opinion that even export of power is division of use of natural resource and agreement for the purpose attracts this provision while others deem it merely international trade in electron.

GoN promulgated Electricity Act 1992, along with Water Resources Act 1992 to herald economic liberalization in the power sector envisaged by Electricity Development Policy 1992. The former was enacted “to develop electric power by regulating the survey, generation, transmission and distribution of electricity and to standardize and safeguard the electricity services.” While the latter legislation was aimed “to make arrangements for the rational utilization, conservation, management and development of the water resources and to make timely legal arrangements for determining beneficial uses of water resources, preventing environmental and other hazardous effects thereof and also for keeping water resources free from pollution.”

GoN tabled Electricity Bill 2009 last year, to improve upon and to incorporate lessons learnt during implementation of the previous Act and also to implement provisions of Hydropower Development Policy 2001. GoN has also table Nepal Electricity Regulation Commission Bill 2009 in the parliament. However, these have yet to be passed by as parliamentarians have proposed 142 amendments to the bill which have not been deliberated upon. The important amendments proposed are related to energy security and relieving the country from dependency on imported fossil fuel, to ensuring optimum exploitation, to making legal provision for parliamentary ratification envisaged by Article 156 (1), to setting up a GoN enterprise to engage in international trade in power/energy, to facilitate local participation in investment in hydropower project, as well as to ensure integrated water resource management.

ILO has specified that this convention “may be cited as the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989”. It is a legally binding international instrument which deals specifically with the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples. It has already been ratified by Nepal. Clause 1 of Article 15 stipulates that “The rights of the peoples concerned to the natural resources pertaining to their lands shall be specially safeguarded. These rights include the right of these peoples to participate in the use, management and conservation of these resources.” It is silent with regard to investment in hydropower projects by the indigenous and tribal peoples.

Nepal didn’t have a written policy related to water and hydropower till 1992 when a policy was formally formulated to herald economic liberalization in this sector. This was supplanted by a new policy in 2001. Although, hydropower is the subsector of water resources, Nepal still lacks policy for water resource and it is referred to only in passing in this policy. Water and Energy Commission Secretariat (WECS) of GoN has prepared a draft water resource policy which was unveiled in April this year. In the meantime water resource strategy and national water plan have already been approved by GoN.

To introduce economic liberalization in the hydropower subsector in particular and water resource sector in general, Hydropower Development Policy was formulated in 1992 as it was deemed “necessary to make alternative arrangement to meet the interim demand of the country till the above projects.” By the above in this sentence reference was made to Arun III (402 MW) and Kaligandaki (110 MW ) projects which were expected to “come into operation after their completion”, within a period of 7-12 years. It was also felt “necessary to construct new small hydro electric projects to meet the demand to those hilly and remote Himalayan regions where the national electricity system has not been extended in the near future. Apart from this, it is utmost necessary to extend proper distribution system in the rural areas where electrification has not been done and also to develop hydro-power of the country by motivating national and foreign private investors in the electricity sector.” As mentioned above Electricity Act and Water Resources Act were promulgated to implement this policy.

Stating that: “In the course of implementation of Hydropower Development Policy 1992 it has been experienced that the policies and legal framework needs to be refined and retuned in line with new concepts seen in world market and its impact on technological developments, export of electric energy, possibility of promotion of foreign investment and commitment to environment conservation” the new policy was formulated in October 2001. However, in the absence of necessary legislation to implement this policy (as Electricity Bill 2009 is still languishing in the parliament), the policy of 1992 already supplanted by this policy is still getting implemented.

GoN formulated Water Resource Strategy (WRS) in 2002 “to identify effective, scientific, sustainable and consensus-based mechanisms to facilitate the implementation of action-oriented initiatives and programs and in doing so, successfully bring about this reconciliation.” Nepal’s national goal was identified as “living conditions of Nepali people are significantly improved in a sustainable manner” by this document aiming to achieve short-, medium- and long-term purposes and ten strategic outputs have been described in it. Following indicators were laid down for hydropower subsector:

• by 2007, 820 MW hydropower capacity developed to meet projected demand, including 70 MW for export;

• by 2007, laws making national contractors/consultants participation mandatory in all types of projects promulgated;

• by 2007, 25% of households supplied with electricity;

• by 2017, 2230 MW hydropower developed to meet projected demand of 2230 MW, including 400 MW for export;

• by 2017, 38% of household supplied with electricity;

• by 2027, 60% of households have access to electricity; and

• by 2027, Nepal is exporting substantial amounts of electricity to earn national revenue.

Merely the status of hydropower generation by mid-July 2010 of 644.436 MW would suffice to indicate how well the strategy is faring.

GoN developed National Water Plan (NWP) in 2005 which was said to be “prepared to encompass program in all strategically-identified output” in WRS “so that tangible benefits can be delivered to all the people in line with the basic needs.” Specifically, the NWP was developed “to operationalize the output objectives” of the WRS, described above. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) was “adopted as one of the principal themes” of it. Following targets were set for hydropower subsector:

By 2007

• Hydropower generating capacity is developed up to 700 MW to meet the projected domestic demand at base case scenario without export;

• Legislation making participation of national contractors/consultants mandatory in all types of projects is enacted;

• Thirty-five per cent of the households are supplied with INPS electricity, 8% with isolated (micro and small) hydro systems and 2% with alternative energy sources;

• Per capita electricity consumption of 100 KWh is achieved.

By 2017

• 2,100 MW hydropower electricity is developed to meet the projected domestic demand at base case scenario, excluding export;

• Fifty per cent of the households are supplied with INPS electricity, 12% with isolated (micro and small) hydro system and 3% with alternative energy;

• Per capita electricity consumption of 160 KWh is achieved; and

• NEA is corporatized.

By 2027

• Up to 4,000 MW hydropower is developed to meet the projected domestic demand at base case scenario, excluding export;

• Seventy-five per cent of the households are supplied with INPS electricity, 20% with isolated (micro and small) hydro system and 5% with alternative energy sources;

• Per capita electricity consumption of over 400 KWh is achieved;

• Nepal exports substantial amounts of electricity to earn national revenue; and

• NEA is unbundled and privatized.

Interestingly, the target for electricity generation by 2007 has been set at 700 MW in it, reducing it from the indicator fixed by the strategy of 820 MW. Unfortunately, even by 2010 the generation capacity is only 644.436 MW. From this it becomes rather easy to infer whether the plan implementation is on track or not.

In the context of the efforts made for the planned development of the country, so far ten periodic plans have been implemented and eleventh one is under implementation. All of the plans up to tenth plan were of 5-year duration, except for the second one which was only for three years (1962-65), introduced after a 1-year plan holiday in 1961/62. Planned development began in Nepal in 1956 and the last one (10th five year plan) ended in July 2007, following which a 3-year Interim Plan was implemented through till July 2010 which aimed to increase the hydropower installed capacity from 560 MW to 704 MW. National Planning Commission (NPC) is yet to make public the status of achievement of this plan. However, according to NEA, cumulative total installed capacity has reached 697.846 MW by the close of interim plan; a 99 percent achievement of the target which became possible due to completion of projects slated to be completed in the previous plan periods like Middle Marshyangdi (70 MW).

Chapter 2 of the report submitted to Forum of Federations, part of which was published by FoF