Civil Society Alliance for Rational Water Resources Development in Nepal requested prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to scrap the Upper Karnali Project agreement signed with India’s multi-national Company GMR. They urged Prime Minister Dahal to talk this matter with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his forthcoming visit to New Delhi.
In their open letter addressed to Nepali Prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi, 30 signatories of various professions reminded their letter handed over to then Nepalese prime minister and Indian Prime Minister Modi on November 2014 when the agreement was signed.
Addressing a press conference on the eve of the visit of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to India, former foreign minister Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani said that the 900 MW power project is not in an interest of Nepal and India.
Former foreign minister Lohani urged Prime Minister Dahal to put this point before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We are not against the India’s investment in Upper Karnali. However, we cannot support an agreement to benefit only one company at the cost of people of both Nepal and India,” said Dr. Lohani.
Member of alliance includes water resource experts, former ministers, political leaders and local people from the region. They hold the view that the construction of 900 MW project will kill 4001 MW storage upper Karnali with the potential to increase the water to downstream as well.
Moderated by former water resource minister Dipak Gyawali, former water resource secretary Dr. Dwarikanath Dhungel made it clear that every Nepali needs to oppose the treaty since it supports GMR’s profit.
Leader of CPN-Maoist Center Leela Mani Pokharel and water resource expert Ratna Sansar Shrestha also demanded to scrap the treaty signed with GMR for the broader benefits of people of Nepal and India. “We are not opposing the Indian investment in Nepal. What we want is the protection of interest of people of both the countries,” said Shrestha. “The treaty is unequal and unjust.” If the project is allowed to construct, 4001 MW project will kill forever. “ We are ready to support GMR if it agrees to go for Upper Karnali with 4001 MW.”