Supreme Court Gave Last Chance To GMR In Upper Karnali

Supreme Court Gave Last Chance To GMR In Upper Karnali

July 8, 2023, 8:22 a.m.

The Supreme Court has upheld the government's decision to extend two years to the Indian company GMR, which got the Upper Karnali Hydroelectric Project.

The decision of the government was upheld by the joint constitutional bench of Chief Justice Harikrishna Karki, Justices Vishwambhar Prasad Shrestha, Anand Mohan Bhattarai, Sapna Pradhan Malla, and Tank Bahadur Moktan. After the full text of the judgment passed some time ago, the way has been opened for financial management of GMR.

The meeting of the Council of Ministers held on 31st June 2022 decided to extend two years for financial management. Last time, the government appealed to the Supreme Court against the decision to extend the time for 2 years.

The Supreme Court has issued a directive order in the name of the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers and has decided to give the project only for the last time.

For 10 years, GMR has not been able to take the project and manage the finances.

When it is found that sufficient time has been given to the developer company and the time lost due to the interim order of the court, giving continuous extensions for financial management is contrary to the desire for development and prosperity inherent in the rapid development of the project, as well as interest and public policy. And to ensure that the work of the project is completed diligently,'' the judgment said.

A few hectares of land in Achham could not be purchased due to lack of quality. To speed up the purchase of land by setting up a priority.

The government had extended the time for 2 years to sign an energy sale agreement with Bangladesh within 6 months. In addition, the company will have to complete the financial agreement with the lender within 23 months and the financial management of the project within 24 months.

GMR, which received construction permission (license) from international competition in 2006, has not yet been able to complete the minimum infrastructure work of the project. Apart from opening its office at Dailekh, the project site, it has not been able to do any other necessary infrastructure work.

Even after eight years of signing the Project Development Agreement (PDA), nothing has been done in the name of raising investment. According to the contract, the construction work was to be completed within five years. However, so far nothing has been done other than repeatedly extending the deadline in the name of raising investment.

It is estimated that it will cost around 1 trillion 16 billion rupees. In the agreement, the government will get 27 percent share capital for free and 12 percent i.e. 108 megawatt electricity will also be free. A preliminary agreement has been reached to take 500 MW of the electricity produced by this project to Bangladesh. The power purchase agreement is yet to be concluded.

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