KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court issued an interim order to the government not to implement the decision to extend the timeline of Financial Closure (FC) of the 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydropower Project.
The Supreme Court’s Justice Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada’s single bench on Thursday issued the order to prevent the implementation of a two-year timeline extension granted to Grandhi Mallikarjun Rao (GMR) Company of India, the promoter company.
Though the Project Development Agreement (PDA) in 2014, the company has failed to arrange finances for the project despite timeline extensions by the government several times.
Ratan Bhandari, a lawyer, said the extension of the FC timeline is illegal, demanding that decision be withdrawn. The cabinet decided on July 15 of this year to extend the term of the GMR by two years.
The Council of Ministers decided to extend the deadline for the financial management of the Upper Karnali project.
“The decision to extend the deadline was made by the Board of Investment in the past, why should the decision this time be made by the Council of Ministers?”said Bhandari.
The company is selling 500 MW out of the 900 MW of electricity generated from the project to Bangladesh. However, the final agreement between the company and the Bangladesh government is still yet to be made.