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