Nepal | September 28, 2020

Dolakha protests Tamakoshi III capacity reduction

Gokarna Bhandari
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Dolakha, July 28

The government’s decision to let the developer build Tamakoshi III hydropower project with reduced capacity of 200 megawatt has riled locals of Dolakha.

The Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation recently allowed Nepali company TBI Holdings and two Chinese companies to reduce the capacity of Tamakoshi III hydropower project from 650 MW to 200 MW.

Originally, Norway’s SN Power Company had prepared a design to construct a project of 880 MW. But later the project’s capacity was reduced to 650 MW after it was concluded that a big tunnel could not be developed due to fragile topography of the region. SN Power then prepared Detailed Project Report to construct Tamakoshi III project with 650 MW capacity.

Recently, President of Non-Resident Nepali Association Bhaban Bhatta signed an MoU with China’s YEIG International and Shanghai Investigation, Design and Research Institute Co Ltd to construct the project with a reduced capacity of 200 MW.

This has raised the hackles of locals and political parties in Dolakha. Locals of Tamakoshi Rural Municipality, Bhimeshwor Municipality, Baiteshwor Rural Municipality and Melung Rural Municipality have threatened to take to the streets against reduction of the project’s capacity.

Tamakoshi III Hydropower Project Concern Committee Chairman Shiv Prasad Bhandari said they would not allow TBI Holdings to construct the project with reduced capacity at any cost.

The committee alleges that the government, Bhatta and Chinese companies had colluded to reduce the capacity of Tamakoshi III. The committee demanded that the decision be rectified.

Issuing a press statement today, Nepali Congress condemned the decision to reduce the capacity of the project. The party has sought immediate scrapping of the decision.

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A version of this article appears in print on July 29, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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