MPs want concrete deal on West Seti project during PM’s China visit

Kathmandu, March 14: Lawmakers from the Farwestern region have suggested on reaching a concrete agreement on pushing the West Seti Hydroelectricity Project ahead during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s upcoming visit to China.

Although a memorandum of understanding has been reached between the Investment Board Nepal and a subsidiary of the Chinese investor Three Gorges Builders in December 2013 to carry ahead the West Seti project works, no progress has been made so far to that connection.The lawmakers have stressed that the Chinese side should be convinced for an effective agreement and investment for forwarding the project when talks are held between Nepal and China during the Prime Minister’s visit to China.

The government has designated the West Seti project as a project of national pride. However, no process regarding the project has made any headway, which has dampened the excitement of the local people. The EIA of the project had been carried out way back in 1996.

Lawmakers as Bir Bahadur Balayar, Ophilal Okheda and Prem Bahadur Aley have stressed that the the uncertainty regarding the project should be lifted during the Prime Minister’s visit to China.

The estimated cost of the project is put at Rs 120 billion. The project is stalled as the Chinese side has been concerned on issues as rehabilitation of the people from the affected place, construction of the transmission line and the market for the electricity.

The Three Gorges, the Ministry of Energy and the Investment Board have not yet reached a conclusion on the PDA of the project which is said to be the main reason for the stalling of the project.