Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Investment Board of Nepal floundering for failure to recognize Nepal's requriement

Dr Prof. Mohan Lohani

Dear Prof Lohani

The very day you sent following email, Radhesh jee's article was published in Kantipur where he said that Nepal will not be able to "consume" electricity generated. I wonder if he is demonstrating his ignorance of nepal's requirement of electricity. His interview broadcast by BBC Nepali Sewa this morning was also more of the same.

My back of the envelope calculation shows that Nepal needs 2,700 MW (a ballpark number) for 100% electrification this year itself as peak demand for 40% of population, connected to the national grid last fiscal year was 1,094 MW. Additionally, in order to generate employment for 3 million youth that have emigrated another 1,000 MW would be needed for industrialization. Similarly 500 MW is needed for electrification of transportation to mitigate balance of trade and payment deficit. Further, just to displace LPG from urban, semi-urban and peri-urban kitchens another 1,000 MW would be required. In sum even without planning to displace firewood from rural kitchens (which would have been highly over-ambitious but very essential to ensure good health of rural homemakers), Nepal could have used 5,200 MW (a ballpark number) this year itself. In 5 years' time the requirement will exceed 10,000 MW. Therefore, it is criminal on the part of hydrocrats like him to plan to export power depriving Nepal’s economy and Nepali people from much needed power.

Going the way he has been going about saying, he is likely to ask where is the market in Nepal an important thing to remember is: it is for IBN to develop market by mobilizing investment for industries electrification of transport , etc. However, he does not seem to be aware of this function of his.

Besides, Upper Karnali should be built as a reservoir project in order for Nepal to benefit from multidimensional uses of water; not just to produce flood energy that too for export. We seem to have failed to educate him in this respect.

i am talking about electrification of transportation and he is happy talking about fast track connection to Tarai which is national disgrace for Nepal (not national pride as publicized by Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai) as Nepal doesn't produce a drop of petroleum product. if he is a true patriot like his late father Dr Yadav Prasad Pant he would arrange to mobilize investment for electric train up-to Inland Container Depot in Birgunj, thus arranging market for electricity produced in Nepal and also to mitigate balance of trade and payment deficit to an extent.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha

Hydropower plants partly blamed for deadly India floods

Hydrocrats in nepal need to be careful of repetition of same in Nepal. However, it will not be possible not to build hydropower plants for fear of potential flood.

On the other hand there is no sense in taking this risk to provide cheap power of good quality for India.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Tax and duty exemption to export oriented projects

Radhesh Pant
Chief Executive Officer
Investment Board of Nepal

Radhesh jee

I have come to learn from public media that you in IBN are considering tax and duty exemption. It isn't a universally good proposition: it is good for projects electricity from which will be used domestically in Nepal, but not in the case of export. I had written an article on the subject sometime back (published in Gorkhapatra on 2069 Jestha 19) which I am forwarding for you to study before making wrong decision.

I trust you will not be making a decision that not only will be detrimental to Nepal but also disgraceful to you and your esteemed late father, Dr Yadav Prasad Pant.

With best regards

Ratna Sansar

Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Behind the Façade"

Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai,
Former PM

Dear Babu Ram jee

I, unfortunately, agree fully with the author, Bhoj Raj Poudel, of following article fully. I hope you will not take it negatively that I am joining the author in severely criticizing you. As a learned person people like you should take criticism sportingly.

I am told that you have a PhD degree in urban planning and there are many people that are praising your endeavor to widen Kathmandu city roads. I, unfortunately again, seem to hold a different perspective. Although you are a senior member of communist party, Maoists, but by widening the roads you have served the interest of a few feudal people at the cost of common people who are forced to walk simply because the sidewalks, which should at least be 2 meters wide, is not even a meter wide in many stretches where the roads were widened at your initiative.

You have called fast track road to link Kathmandu with Tarai "national pride," but I consider that project a national disgrace for this poor country of ours which doesn't produce a drop of petrol or diesel. I do understand that electric train/rail isn't feasible in areas where traffic isn't heavy. But that particular sector isn't like that - it is the main artery supplying necessities for the capital. I agree that the capital needs an access that is faster than what we have now. But electric train would have been better option. Now we are forced to import petroleum products in unaffordable quantum and you have given your blessing to many a hydropower projects for export. Therefore, this too is anomalous.

You will recall that I had pointed this out to you when you were Finance Minister in the cabinet led by Prachanda, you chose to ignore it. From the perspective of economy and economics of the country as well as urban planning, building another road is not prudent where electric train could have been sustainably operated.


Ratna Sansar Shrestha.

Friday, April 4, 2014

RE: 900 MW RoR Upper Karnali Hydro Power Project & GMR

Prof. Dr MP Lohani

Dear Prof. Lohani

I beg to differ with you on your statement that you aren’t a specialist. I too am not a specialist; I am merely a student of management but with ability to read and understand dcouemtns executed in English. Arun III documents were also in English and these contain are very little engineering/technical details. Therefore, someone like you, with due respet to you, cannot hide behind the statement as such. I, however, appreciate your solidarity with me and also thank you.

There is an interesting facet re cancellation of Arun III. Former PM Madhav Nepal or my close friend like Dipak Gyawali other “environmentalists” (strangely I wasn’t painted as a villain in the fiasco of Arun III although I deserve blame in the same quantum if what happened calls for blame). From my analysis below I already have succeeded to establish that the cancellation of Arun III was a boon/blessing not otherwise. Therefore, those involved in its cancellation deserve credit for its cancellation.

However, those blamed for Arun III cancellation aren’t entitled to the credit (I am sure that my close friends like Dipak Gyawali et al will mind). The CREDIT should go to the then policy/decision makers like Dr Ram Sharan Mahat (VC of NPC), Laxman Ghimire (State Minister for Water Resources), et al. including PM Girija Koirala. You must be wondering if I have lost my mind. No Sir, nothing as such has happened to me.

If you recall correctly, it were these very people who were instrumental in signing Project Agreements and PPAs with Khimti in March 1994. Since, the main negative covenant of Arun III is restriction on implementation of any hydropower projects larger 10 MW and the then government had itself signed project documents for Khimti in 1994, the World Bank was left no choice but to cancel Arun III.

Therefore, the CREDIT for addition of 346 MW in the system instead of 201 MW goes to Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, Laxman Ghimire, et al. Nepali people should ever be grateful to them.

From another perspective, if Nepal had failed to attract FDI in Khimti, no private investment in hydropower sector could have been mobilized. With the cancellation of Arun III and implementation of Khimti, now private sector firmly believes that infrastructure projects like hydropower sector is also lucrative.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

From: Mohan Lohani []
Sent: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 10:59
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha; Madhukar SJB Rana; Dwarika Nath Dhungel; Shyam Adhikari; Misra; Dipak Gyawali; Basanta Lohani; Bihari Krishna Shrestha; Shreedhar Gautam; Rajeshwar Acharya; Aditya Man Shrestha; Upendra Gautam; Dhruba Hari Adhikary; Sharad Sharma
Subject: Re: 900 MW RoR Upper Karnali Hydro Power Project & GMR

Thank you, Ratna Sansarji, for your detailed information about Arun III . Since I am not a specialist in this field, I know very little about how hydroelectric projects like Arun III are negotiated and agreed upon on dubious terms unknown to gullible people like me .I have been a strong admirer of your nationalistic stand and commitment. My best wishes and solidarity are with you on issues of national interest. Please act according to your conscience.
With best regards,
MP Lohani

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

RE: 900 MW RoR Upper Karnali Hydro Power Project & GMR

Prof. Dr MP Lohani

Dear Prof Lohani

Yes, Supreme Court too, unfortunately for Nepal and Nepali people, has delivered verdicts that are against Nepal’s national interest and in favor of Indian interest time and again. I have said it time and again, including in public media at the risk of being prosecuted for contempt of court. I am prepared to be prosecuted for saying the truth if telling the truth is a crime; even prison sentence doesn’t scare me.

One more interesting (rather distressing) fact about Arun III: It was estimated to cost more than $ 5,000/kW while average cost of implementation of hydropower projects are in the range of $2,000/kW. You will be surprised to know that SJVN’s estimated cost of Arun III now is in the range of $ 1,000/kW. Herein lies the tragedy of Nepal. At that time the hydrocrats wanted to reap huge profit by implementing it and scuttling private investment, which has succeeded to add 346 MW at a reasonable average cost in lieu of Arun III projected to cost more than $ 5,000/kW. Now it is being planned to be built at a decent/reasonable cost, but it will be India that will enjoy cheap power from it; not the people of the country to whom the resource belongs.

I am prepared for the sacrifice of my life not only in the national interest but also to show a path of dedication to nationalism to present day youth and to illustrate that patriots should not just don’t talk as only talking doesn’t safeguard national interest. If needed be, people should be willing to sacrifice their lives to ensure that our motherland isn’t “raped” (with due respect to sensibilities) for foreign interest.

I agree with you that the country cannot lose somebody like me but it is incumbent for somebody like to me set an example, too. People all over the world have sacrificed their lives to save their motherland from exploitation and foreign domination.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

From: Mohan Lohani []
Sent: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 11:21
To: Ratna Sansar Shrestha; Madhukar SJB Rana; Dwarika Nath Dhungel; Shyam Adhikari; Misra; Dipak Gyawali; Basanta Lohani; Bihari Krishna Shrestha; Mana Ranjan Josse; Shreedhar Gautam; Rajeshwar Acharya; Aditya Man Shrestha; Upendra Gautam; Dhruba Hari Adhikary; Radesh Pant; Nishchal N. Pandey; Ram Sharan Mahat; Prakash Chandra Lohani; Yubaraj Ghimire
Subject: Re: 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydro Power Project & GMR

Dear Ratna Sansarji,
It is difficult to believe that the apex court of the country has not entertained the two cases already filed and has thus disregarded , in your own words, the national interest. Who is to blame for this - the supreme court or our own inability to define the national interest? You have also thrown further light on circumstances leading to the cancellation of Arun III.I was under the impression that Arun III became a victim of political conspiracy and inter-party rivalry. Dr. Ram Saran should not be so naïve as to forget about the background of this project. Finally, Shresthaji, you are a nationalist and we respect you for that. The sacrifice of your life may cause a sensation for some days and may deeply shock your friends and near and dear ones. But the country can't afford to lose a precious life like yours.
All the best and regds,