Bheri-Babai Diversion Project to adopt ‘company model’ with 49% public shares

File: Construction workers are underway for Bheri-Babai Diversion Project

Kathmandu, July 27

The government has ‘almost’ finalised the investment modality of the ambitious Bheri-Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project. As per an understanding among the stakeholders, the project will adopt a company model, in which 49 per cent of the shares will be given to the public.

Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun held a meeting with Karnali Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi among others recently and proposed the modality in which government agencies at federal, provincial and local levels, those affected by and benefitting from the project, and other members of the public have opportunities to invest in the project. The ministry’s Secretary Rabindra Nath Shrestha says stakeholders attending the meeting consented to the proposal.

The ministry’s Joint Secretary Madhu Prasad Bhetwal, also the project coordinator, says the federal government will contribute 26 per cent investment, Karnali provincial government 20 per cent and local units of the affected region five per cent, making the government investment 51 per cent in total.

Likewise, among the public shares, 29 per cent will be left open for all citizens of the country whereas 10 per cent will be reserved for citizens of the Karnali province, and 10 per cent for the locals of the affected region.

So far, only the federal government was investing in the project.

The project has been developed with the objective of utilising the water of Bheri and Babai rivers in western Nepal for hydropower generation and irrigation.

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