Nepal dismisses 14 hydro-electricity licences

Kathmandu, Feb 4 (IANS) Nepal has scrapped due to lack of progress 14 licences for various projects to generate a total of 611 MW of hydro-electricity.

While cancelling the licences, the Department of Electricity Development followed due process of law providing the licence holders 35 days' time to furnish replies after publication of public notices, media reports said Monday.

"Some more projects may get their licences dismissed, if they too fail to show progress," said Gokarna Raj Panta, information officer of the department, as quoted by the Himalayan Times.

The department issues survey licence to electricity developers for two years. The licences need to be renewed every year until five years. After that, construction works must begin -- failing which the licences are liable to be scrapped, reported Xinhua.

"Licences were earlier distributed haphazardly without evaluating capacity and intention of applicants. Licences should be provided through open competition now," said Suryanath Upadhyay, a former energy secretary.

Some of the hydro projects which got their licences cancelled are Phulkot Karnali (210 MW), Thuli Bheri (121 MW), Madi Seti (86 MW), Naskhola (50 MW), Upper Madi (38 MW) and Nyasim Khola (30 MW).