Nepal SC stays negotiations on GMR’s power project

Nepal’s Supreme Court has stayed the negotiation for a power development agreement with Indian infrastructure major GMR for developing a 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydropower Project, responding to a petition claiming it ignored the rights of local people. A single bench comprising Justice Bharat Bahadur Karki yesterday issued the stay order that will remain effective until July 31, wherein a bench would decide whether a further stay is required, according to the court officials. The court also ordered the government not to accept Detail Engineering Report of the project by the GMR Energy. The court’s decision comes at a time when the Investment Board Nepal (IBN) is holding talks with the Indian power developer for signing the power development agreement (PDA). The single bench had issued the stay order in response to a petition filed by 29 local people of the affected districts in North-west Nepal. The petitioners argue that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Government of Nepal and GMR Energy to develop the Upper Karnali Hydropower Project in January 2008 has ignored rights of the locals in the affected districts.

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