Hotel construction mishap may lead to forced load-shedding

Kathmandu, January 21

The construction of a hotel near the transmission line tower of Iccha Kamana Village Municipality in Chitwan has raised the chances of disrupting the 132 kVA Marshyangdi-Syuchatar transmission line. If that happens, Kathmandu Valley will have to face forced load-shedding as the transmission line is one of the backbone supply lines for electricity to the capital city.

The construction of a hotel in the Iccha Kamana area by Parshuram Ghimire, the land owner, has caused landslides in the vicinity where the tower is located while clearing the site.

“About 100 megawatts of electricity generated by various projects is currently transmitted through the Marshyangdi corridor to Kathmandu,” informed Kul Man Ghising, managing director at Nepal Electricity Authority. “Should the tower be damaged, Kathmandu Valley will face some power cuts.”

As per Ghising, the owner has not taken any measures to prevent further erosion of soil in the tower area. “The tower is at risk of collapsing with the onset of the monsoon season,” Ghising said.

The NEA team has already held discussions with the land owner and suggested him to build protective walls on the site. The authority has even warned Ghimire that he will be liable to rebuild the tower and face other penalties if the structure collapses.

Over the phone, Ghimire dismissed the concerns of NEA and said he was cashstrapped to comply with the given direction of building a protective wall. “At a time when I am worried that the funds I have borrowed from the bank to build the hotel may be insufficient, from where will I get the money to build a protective wall?” he questioned, adding that the scenario painted by the NEA of the tower collapsing was ‘highly unlikely’.

In January last year, NEA had written to Ghimire, saying that the tower could be damaged if the land underneath it was dug up and had requested him to take necessary protective measures to ensure it did not happen.

“But Ghimire has paid no heed to our repeated warnings and we are worried about a major mishap because no security measure has been taken,” said Ghising, adding that if the land owner continued to ignore NEA’s direction, the authority will be forced to take legal course of action.