DoED revokes licences of 129 hydro projects of 3,330 MW


The government has revoked the licence of 129 hydropower projects with total installed capacity of 3,330 megawatts so far as they failed to submit their progress reports and pay due fees on schedule.

As per Department of Electricity Development (DoED), in the last 10 years it has cancelled licence of these projects with capacity ranging from one megawatt to 916 MW.

The largest project to get its licence repealed is Humla Karnali Cascade Project with capacity to generate 916 MW of power. Meanwhile, the smallest project whose licence has been rescinded is the Balefi Khola Hydropower Project with capacity of 950 kilowatts.

Nabin Raj Singh, director general of DoED, said the projects whose licences had been revoked had failed to submit their progress reports despite being asked to do so at frequent intervals. The department also rescinded the electricity generation licence of those projects that had failed to renew their licences.

“The government will now add those projects whose licence has been revoked to the project basket that it has established,” informed Singh.

There was a time when the immense potential of hydropower and its exploitation was under the control of a limited number of people.

That is why at that time the popular slogan among the people was ‘Jholama Khola’, as per Singh. However, in the last few years we have done our level best to cancel the licence of 129 such hydropower projects, he added.

In terms of numbers, the government revoked the most number of licences of hydropower projects in the fiscal year 2013-14. After that, the permission of many projects was revoked in the last fiscal year 2019-20.

It has to be noted that the generation capacity of hydropower projects whose licences were scrapped in the last fiscal was the highest.

As per DoED, licences of 23 projects with capacity of 842 MW were revoked last fiscal.

Similarly, in fiscal year 2013-14, permission of 65 hydropower projects with capacity of 486 MW was revoked.

The power projects whose licences were cancelled in the last fiscal year include the 400-MW Kaligandaki Kawan, 75-MW Dudhkoshi-10, 65-MW Upper Kaligandaki, 52-MW Super Budhigandaki and 75-MW Trishuli Galchi hydropower projects.

In fiscal year 2018-19, the licence of only eight projects with capacity of 188 MW was revoked, including the 128-MW Dandagaun Khalanga Bheri Project.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 5, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.