Kathmandu August 31
The government has decided to provide 19,600 ropanis of land for the development of the Tanahu reservoir hydroelectricity project in Tanahu district. The Cabinet meeting held on August 15 decided to provide the land to develop the 140-megawatt project.
According to the Ministry of Land Reform and Management (MoLRM), the Tanahu Hydropower Ltd (THL) has been provided the authority to use 150 ropanis of land as per the Land Acquisition Act 1977 and an additional 19,450 ropanis is being provided by the government.
As per the land act, in hilly areas industries and projects are allowed to acquire only 75 ropanis of land, however the government can provide more land as per the need of projects.
Most of the land being acquired by Tanahu hydropower will be utilised to construct access road, guesthouse, office and transmission line.
According to Sachen Gautam, communication expert at THL, the government has provided the additional land for the project after studying the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and initial environment examination (IEE) reports. “Based on the EIA and IEE reports, the project requires 19,500 ropanis of land to construct dam, powerhouse and tunnel, among others and 100 ropanis to build transmission line,” he informed.
THL has already acquired 150 ropanis of land in Tanahu to construct access road, guesthouse and offices and it will acquire more land as soon as possible as per the rules set by the government. The project is currently distributing compensation amount to the people affected in the site area.
The project has estimated that it will have to distribute a total of Rs 670 million as compensation to the affected people and out of the estimated total it has already distributed Rs 470 million.
To facilitate the construction process of the project local consultation forums have been formed in the four affected local levels of Tanahu district, namely Byas and Vimad municipalities and Rising and Myagde rural municipalities.
THL is in the final stage of contractor selection process. The project has planned to finalise the selection process within October and begin the construction process as soon as possible.
It has forwarded the technical proposal of the contractor to Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for consent. ADB and JICA have already committed to invest in the project.
The first package of the bidding will be approved by ADB and the second will be approved by JICA. Diverting the river course and construction of a dam are the major works related to the first package and construction of tunnel and powerhouse, hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical works, equipment import and operation are in the second package.
After finalising the technical proposal, THL will open the financial proposal received from the contractors who are bidding for the project.
The estimated cost to construct the project is Rs 50 billion that includes the interest that needs to be paid for the loans taken and for rural electrification programme. The investors in the project are the government, Nepal Electricity Authority, ADB, JICA and the European Investment Bank.
A version of this article appears in print on September 01, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.
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