No irregularities: officialsSenior officials of Nalsing Gad Hydropower Development Committee have denied allegations of involvement in irregularities while awarding contract to the consultant selected to prepare the detailed report of the project.
Senior officials of Nalsing Gad Hydropower Development Committee have denied allegations of involvement in irregularities while awarding contract to the consultant selected to prepare the detailed report of the project.
Moti Bahadur Kunwar, executive director of the development committee, told the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee that due process was followed while appointing a consultant to prepare the detailed project report (DPR) of the 410MW storage project.
Kunwar was summoned by the House Committee on Sunday following complaints that development committee officials had misappropriated around Rs300 million while awarding the contract to SMEC MWH Uday Consult.
“We have received complaints that the development committee selected SMEC MWH Uday despite knowing it had quoted Rs1.12 billion, which was higher than Rs840 million quoted by AF Consultant of Switzerland,” said Dor Prasad Upadhyaya, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
Kunwar, however, denied the allegation and said the evaluation committee selected the consultant based on quality and cost based selection (QCBS) system as recommended by the Public Procurement Monitoring Office.
“As per the QCBS system a weightage of 85 percent is given to the technical proposal, while a weight of only 15 percent is allotted to the financial proposal,” said Kunwar. “Therefore, SMEC MWH won the bid scoring higher than its Swiss rival.”
Still the development committee negotiated with the consultant and awarded the contract at Rs940 million, saving Rs180 million, added Kunwar. “Nevertheless, we will support public accounts committee in its ongoing investigation,” he said.
The House Committee has decided to probe the matter by forming a sub-committee. “The sub-committee will be formed soon,” said Upadhyaya.
Nalsing Gad is considered as one of strategic projects because of high water level in the river basin, small number of households that need to be displaced, stable water flow in the river, and less cumbersome land acquisition process.
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the state-owned power utility completed the project’s feasibility study at a cost of around Rs1 billion four years ago.
Tasks like construction of a weather station, automatic discharge gauging, buildings and camps around the reservoir and embankment sites have already been concluded.
Other works like land acquisition, compensation distribution, and construction of access road and embankment, among others, are under way. The Rs100-billion project will displace 588 households. The project needs to acquire 300 hectares of cultivable land and 300 hectares of forest area.