BS reported that as many as 60 vandals stormed the project site of infrastructure company GMR at Karnali in Dailekh district of Nepal and set a portable cabin on fire. GMR Energy is developing a 300 MW hydropower plant there.
GMR confirmed it, but refused to comment on speculations that Maoists could have done it. Construction equipment are safe, but computers, telephones and furniture in the cabin were destroyed in the arson. The company said it had not received any report of casualty and its staff were safe.
A company spokesperson said that “The damage occurred to the general assets in the building only, including general furniture, etc. We are awaiting further details on the same.”
GMR said a team was traveling to Nepal to do a status check. The Ministry of Economic Affairs is known to have approached the Nepal government over the issue.
GMR has contacted the district police authorities and necessary actions have been initiated.
The company spokesperson said that “The local police have been highly supportive and have mobilized forces at the site office. We are taking up the issue with the authorities concerned in Nepal.”
The capacity of the plant, scheduled to be commissioned in 2016, could be expanded to 900 MW. GMR had won it through the first ever international competitive bidding process undertaken by the Nepal government to award large hydropower projects. The project is being constructed on a build own operate and transfer basis. GMR will own it for 30 years. The company said the project was progressing as per the schedule.
The Bangalore based company is also developing another 250 MW power project on the Marsyangdi river. It has an 80% stake in it.