Nepal | January 26, 2021

Landslide causes major damage


Himalayan News Service
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The floods and landslides have caused great damage to the 102-megawatt Middle-Bhotekoshi Hydropower Project under construction in Sindhupalchowk district.

The floods and landslides in the area, including Jambu Bazaar of Barhabise Municipality, have damaged the Middle-Bhotekoshi project which is under construction, informed Sunil Lama, chief of the project, adding, one of the springs (Khahare Khola) in the area caused more damage to the project than the floods in the Bhotekoshi River.

“We have received reports that the warehouse containing electromechanical goods has been washed away by the floods. The powerhouse has also been damaged by the floods,” said Lama. “Due to the heavy rains and subsequent floods there are damages in the Araniko Highway and our access road also has been completely damaged, hence we have not been able to reach the powerhouse area and assess the damage,” he added.

“We will be able to know the exact details of the damage caused by the landslide only after the situation gets normal and we are able to go to the site and assess the condition,” said Lama, adding that there has been no human casualty though.

The construction completion deadline had been repeatedly extended by Chinese contractor Guangxi Hydroelectric Construction Bureau and the new deadline was November. However, the floods this time have caused great damage increasing the possibility of the project not being completed on schedule again.

The time and cost of building the Middle-Bhotekoshi project have been continuously rising due to earthquakes, landslides and floods, among other issues at different intervals of time. The project was started in 2013 with cost estimation of Rs 12.28 billion. However, the cost of the project has now ballooned to Rs 15 billion.

The project was expected to start churning out electricity by 2016. But it missed a succession of completion deadlines due to natural disasters, land compensation issues and delays by the civil and hydromechanical contractor Guangxi Hydroelectric Construction Bureau.

The latest completion deadline for the run-of-the-river project is November but officials are not sure if work will be finished by that date too. The project is being developed by the Madhya Bhotekoshi Jalavidyut Company.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 10, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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