UTKHPL staffers directed to reach project site within 7 days
KATHMANDU, May 8: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament on Tuesday directed the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited (UTKHPL) to send its staffers to the project site within seven days.
PAC issued such instructions after grilling the energy secretary and chiefs of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and UTKHPL regarding the delay in the construction of the project. The project staffers are staying in Kathmandu despite being posted at the project site in Dolakha.
Chief Executive Officer and Project Director Sunil Kumar Dhungel said the 456 MW project scheduled to come into operation by March, 2016 is already eight months behind the schedule.
PAC also directed UTKHPL to expedite the selection of management team through international competition and submit progress report within seven days. The selection process has currently been stalled with UTKHPL negotiating team failing to finalize the deal with the Snowy Mountain and Engineering Corporation (SMEC) of Australia, the sole applicant deemed to have met the requirements.
The SMEC team, which has proposed American Kevin Irving Candee as the CEO and former NEA Managing Director Uttar Kumar Shrestha as the chief finance officer, has sought around Rs 540 million for four years while UTKHPL has put the estimated cost of management team at around Rs 500 million.
PAC has also directed UTKHPL to furnish progress report to the committee every month.