600MW Upper Marsyangdi II in limbo

Lamjung, January 5

With the government sitting on the mandatory permission for long, the fate of the proposed Upper Marsyangdi II hydro project hangs in the balance.

The 600 MW project to be built in Taghring of Lamjung will directly affect two VDCs of Lamjung, and one of Manang.

The project to be constructed by GMR — an Indian company — faced protest in the making of the DPR report earlier from then UCPN-Maoist party that linked this project to issues of national sovereignty.

The project has failed to start for years now, given the government delay in doing a PDA, years after the company submitted its DPR.

According to an official related to GMR, the company is running development projects related to education, health, and community development in the to-be affected areas that include Manang’s Dharapani and Lamjung’s Taghring and Ghermu.

“Though our plan was to run development projects worth around 1.9 billion rupees, we are only running small projects at the moment as the project is yet to start,” he said.

Even so, the company has also pointed out a few challenges in starting the project. Among others, policy-related ambiguities and need for thorough talks on issues of free electricity and issues related to the hydro-power sector were listed.

As per company sources, the project is estimated to cost somewhere near 84.96 billion rupees and is expected to be completed in five years’ time if work goes on smoothly. As per the plan, the project will have a dam at Talgaun of Manang, Dharapani from where water will be channeled through an 11.2 km tunnel to the powerhouse in Syange of Lamjung’s Taghrin.

The would-be third largest project in the country will require the requisition of 137.11 hectares of public and private land.