Kathmandu, December 22
Expressing their dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to dissolve the House of Representatives, seven ministers resigned en masse on Sunday. Among them, three were leading ‘game-changing’ national pride projects in the country which were heading towards the competition soon.
The resignation of Energy Minister Barsha Man Pun, Civil Aviation Minister Yogesh Bhattarai, and Water Supply Minister Bina Magar will make the completion of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, Gautam Buddha International Airport Construction, and Melamchi Water Supply Project respectively more uncertain.
“Even if new ministers replace them immediately,” an Energy Minister official says, “It will be difficult for them to make policy decisions.” The official says outgoing minister Pun had already understood technical and other aspects of the project, for which his successor might take a long time.
On the other hand, officials of the Melamchi Project were under pressure to test the water supply tunnel of the project before mid-January. With Minister Bina Magar’s resignation, they have felt relieved.
Magar had set the deadline of mid-April 2021 for the project, but the now, with her ouster, officials are already preparing for a proposal to extend the deadline.
Likewise, Minister Yogesh Bhattarai had also directed the contractors to complete the construction of Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa before January 1 although that was very unlikely. After his resignation, preparations are underway to extend the deadline by at least six months.