Nepal | May 25, 2020

75 per cent tunnel work completed so far

• Bheri-Babai project

Himalayan News Service
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An under-construction tunnel of Bheri-Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project, in Surkhet, on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. Photo: THT

Surkhet, October 24

About 75 per cent tunnel construction of Bheri-Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project has been completed till date.

Nine-kilometre tunnel has been dug using tunnel boring machine. The total length of the tunnel is 12.2 kilometres.

For the first time in the country’s history, the work on digging the tunnel using tunnel boring machine had started a year ago.

According to the project’s senior division hydro geologist Krishna Parasd Upadhyay, 75 per cent of the tunnel work has been completed and the remaining work will be completed within six months if the work continues with the same pace. Upadhyay predicted that the tunnel construction would be completed within the deadline as China Overseas Engineering Company Limited tasked with the construction work had sped up work.

In the first phase, 12-kilometre tunnel will be constructed and 48 megawatts electricity will be generated while irrigation system will be developed in the final stage.

Located between Bardiya of Province 5 and Karnali Province, the machine is digging 40 metres tunnel daily. Upadhyay said the tunnel boring machine had already crossed Tolikhola, which was considered to be risky. “Construction of the tunnel is in full swing,” said Upadhyay.

After the completion of tunnel work, a dam will be built at Chiple of Surkhet  and a powerhouse at Chepang of Bardiya. After the construction of a 15-metre tall dam, water from Bheri will be diverted to Babai at the speed of 40 cubic centimetres per second. The water brought to Babai will be used for irrigation.

A target has been set to generate 48 megawatts electricity from the project by constructing a powerhouse in Bardiya. Earlier, the project had set a deadline of 2020 to complete the tunnel work. As many as 600 people, including Chinese and Nepali nationals, are working on the project. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 16 billion. The project is being built with domestic investment.


A version of this article appears in print on October 25, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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