Power cuts to be made history in 2 years

Kathmandu, May 28

The government has introduced an innovative development financing mechanism by levying infrastructure tax of five rupees on imports of every litre of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel to raise funds to build 1,200-megawatt storage-type Budhi Gandaki Hydroelectric Project.

This decision, which came into effect from Saturday, will make fuel a tad expensive, but will help the country to mobilise resources to build a crucial hydro project that can significantly reduce load-shedding hours in the country.

“This mechanism will help the government raise over Rs seven billion in the next fiscal year,” Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel said launching the annual budget for the financial year 2016-17.

The government has also earmarked an additional Rs 5.3 billion to begin construction of the hydroelectric project in the next fiscal.

The government is mulling over reducing load-shedding hours drastically in the next fiscal and make power cuts a history in the next two years.

“Also, hydroelectricity generation, transmission and distribution projects will be designed to make the country self-dependent in electricity generation during monsoon in the next three years and export electricity in the next 10 years,” said Paudel.

In this regard, the government plans to build run-of-the-river hydro projects with installed capacity of 6,000 MW and storage projects with installed capacity of 4,000 MW in the next 10 years.

“We’ll complete construction of Chameliya and Kulekhani-3 hydro projects within a year, Upper Tamakoshi and Upper Trishuli 3A projects in two years and Rasuwagadi project in three years,” said the minister.

“Attempts will also be made to develop over 10,000 MW Karnali-Chisapani Multipurpose Project as a joint project between Nepal, India and China.”

To evacuate power generated by these projects, the government has allocated budget for construction of 400 kV Dhalkebar-Kathmandu-Hetauda and 400 kV Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa transmission line projects.

“Also, priority will be given to construction of Mechi-Mahakali transmission line project and Karnali, Gandaki and Koshi transmission corridors,” the minister said. “We will also ensure timely completion of Marshyangdi-Kathmandu, Samudratar-Trishuli, Kathmandu-Birgunj-Simara transmission line projects.”

The government also intends to bring the National Transmission Grid Company into operation from the beginning of the next fiscal year. It is also mulling over establishing National Hydroelectricity Generation Company and National Power Trade Company in the next fiscal.

“A different mechanism will also be created to provide consultancy service on hydroelectric projects, transmission lines, designs of transmission line system and project supervision,” the minister said.

Paving way for project implementation

Kathmandu, May 28

The government has decided to establish a separate office, comprising technical experts, to implement the much-hyped Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track project beginning next fiscal year.

It has also decided to create a special mechanism to monitor and facilitate the project implementation.

The government has allocated a budget of Rs 10 billion to begin construction of the Fast Track from the next fiscal. “This amount will be used to build Budhune-Hetauda segment of the Fast Track,” Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel said launching the annual budget for financial year 2016-17.

To aid the people of Tarai, the government has decided to complete upgradation of 518 km segment of Postal Highway into double lane road within the next three years. “Construction of another 1,152 km segment of the highway will begin from next fiscal,” the minister said. “I have allocated a budget of Rs 4.2 billion for this purpose.”

Also, a budget of Rs 3.2 billion has been allocated to begin construction of 318-km Dharan-Chatara-Gaighat-Katari-Sindhuli Bazar-Hetauda road segment. “The construction of the road, which will link Inner Madhes and Chure areas of eastern and central regions, will be completed in three years,” the minister said.

Among others, the government intends to complete construction of Mid-Hill Highway in the next five years and upgrade East-West Highway, Prithivi Highway, Araniko Highway and Bhairahawa-Lumbini-Taulihawa-Bahadurgunj road segment into four-lane modern highway.

The government has also allocated a budget of Rs 1.86 billion to build a tunnel road in Nagdhunga.