CPN-Maoist forms hydel to replace GMR from upper Karnali

SURKHET, Dec 28: The CPN-Maoist, which seems hell-bent on preventing India´s GMR Group from developing upper Karnali hydropower project, has formed a hydropower company of its own. Karnali Jalshrot Limited, which was registered at the Office of Company Registrar by local CPN-Maoist leaders two months ago, will replace GMR Group from upper Karnali project, said Mangal BK, Surkhet district in-charge of the CPN-Maoist. BK said that they formed the company as they were certain that “GMR would leave upper Karnali project.”

“We want to prove that Nepali people are also capable of developing mega hydropower project,” he said. Humla-based CPN-Maoist leader Lok Bahadur Raut is the chairman of the company that has 205 shareholders. Each shareholder has invested Rs 10,000. Apart from Raut, Chakra Pani Sharma, Bharat Prasad Prasain, Shriman Gautam, Tara Gharti, Arun Chandra Gajurel, Amar Mali, Bhesh Raj Kandel and Juddha Gurung are on the board of directors of the company. “Although the company was established with our initiatives, members of other political parties, businessmen and non-resident Nepalis have also joined us. Therefore, it will not be difficult to manage enough capital for developing the upper Karnali hydropower project,” BK said.

The CPN-Maoist has also decided to request the government to grant their company the license to conduct the survey of 900 MW upper Karnali project. “If our company is not allowed to conduct the survey, we will launch protests,” BK said. Meanwhile, the recently held Bheri-Karnali state conference of the CPN-Maoist decided to launch a series of protest programs to create pressure on the government to cancel the contract awarded to GMR Group for upper Karnali project. “We will not hand over Karnali hydro project to the Indian company at any cost,” said Bharat Bam, Bheri-Karnali state secretary of the CPN-Maoist. Bam also stated that the CPN-Maoist has formed a team to prevent GMR Group staff from reaching the project site. “The contract awarded to GMR is against national interest,” said Bam. The announcement of setting up of the company by the CPN-Maoist comes a week after the government extended the survey license of GMR Upper Karnali Hydropower Company, a subsidiary of GMR Group, by another six months. ‘

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