Locals urge NEA to start construction of sub-station, transmission line
KATHMANDU, Oct 19: Locals from Ramechhap and Sindhuli have expressed grave concern over Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA)´s apathy to award tender for developing power sub-station and transmission line of 33 KV, saying it could force residents of 43 VDCS of those districts to live in darkness.
“We see no reason why NEA is dragging its feet to award the tender to the contractors. Our hunch is it has to do with pressure of unscrupulous political leaders,” saidKailash Dhungel, a local who is also a former chairman of District Development Committee (DDC).
Holding a press meet on Friday, the locals even charged the NEA of being involved in the foul play allegedly for undue financial benefits.
According to Dhungel, the NEA had previously prepared to award the contract for the sub-station and transmission line development to a joint venture of three firms, namely KARD, Shailung Construction and TransGlobal.
However, it stalled the process after the WB, under which assistance sub-station and transmission lines are being laid down in the districts, disqualified them.
“The contractors disqualified then were close to Surya Man Dong, former energy minister,” Dhungel said. “Dong, hence, has compelled NEA not to award tender to any other developers,” he claimed.
Dhungel said such foul play and political meddling, meanwhile, had risked the project. “The World Bank could withdraw its assistance. If that happened, we will be left to live in darkness,” he said.
Locals said that the tender process has come to a standstill after the World Bank asked the NEA to select other contractors who are qualified and can meet the standards of works.
A group of locals that are in Kathmandu to exert pressure on NEA to move forth the tender process met with the senior officials of the NEA and Hari Ram Koirala, secretary at the Ministry of Energy.
“World Bank has accepted the proposals from other developers such as Tripureshwoer, Mine Janamukhi JV and Mainawati Steel. But the NEA has insisted that the tender should be awarded to KARD, Shailung Construction and TransGlobal JV,” Dhungel said.