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 [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
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.
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
West Seti is getting dragged into controversy again. However, this time it is for different/wrong reasons.
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