Nepal says ‘no’ to China for multi-billion power project

Nepal says 'no' to China for multi-billion power project
Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli and his wife Radhika Shakya listen to an Indian delegate during the India-Nepal business forum in New Delhi, India, Friday, April 6, 2018. Oli is in India on a three-day long visit. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Kathmandu:  The Nepal government has said “no” to China to build the Budhi Gandaki hydroelectricity project that was awarded to a Chinese firm by the previous Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’-led dispensation in 2016.

The previous government had also asked China to list the project under the its Belt and Road Initiative, of which Nepal is a part.

The decision by the current government on Tuesday came as relief to New Delhi as it fears that investment in Beijing would surpass in Nepal and would lessen India’s clout in Kathmandu.

The Prachanda-led government, without any tendering, had decided to award the contract to China Gezhouba Group Company to build the scheme under the engineering-procurement-construction-and-financing (EPCF) model which led to a huge controversy in Nepal.

Nepal’s Energy Minister Barsha Man Pun on Tuesday announced that government will call for global tenders to develop the Budhi Gandaki hydroelectricity that is expected to generate 12,00 mw electricity. The total cost of the project is around $2.73 billion.