Nepal | May 29, 2020

Delay in construction of transmission line worries hydel investors

Rastriya Samachar Samiti
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Kathmandu, December 22

As many as three hydropower projects which are  set to generate power in near future are likely to face problem given the delay in construction of Kabeli Corridor transmission line.

Construction of the three hydropower projects, which would produce a total of 57 megawatts of electricity, will be completed by April, 2018. Industrialists have complained that power produced by the projects will be wasted as the Nepal Electricity Authority failed to expedite the construction of the transmission line.

Construction of 90 km transmission line from Padajungi of Jhapa to Amarpur of Panchthar is under way. The construction work is divided into three sections. Construction of the first section — Godak-Damak section — has been completed while two sections are still under construction. Construction of the transmission line started from the fiscal 2062/63. Currently the construction work is obstructed due to various reasons including compensation distribution.

Construction of 25 MW-Kabeli ‘B-1’ hydel project, 22 MW-Lower Hewakhola hydel power and 10 MW-Ewakhola hydropower project are in their final phase.

Chief of Kabeli ‘B-1’ hydel project, Ramesh Prasad Pokharel, said although the project was in final phase, chances of power being wasted were high because of NEA ‘s failure to construct 132-KV Kabeli Transmission Line on time.

Independent power producers said that the Indian construction company, which got responsibility of constructing Kabeli Corridor Transmission Line, did not prioritise the construction work.

Kabeli ‘B-1’ project is being constructed by the Arun Kabeli Hydroelectricity Project. Project chief Pokharel said they were likely to face problems as NEA did not pay attention to the construction of the Kabeli Corridor Transmission Line

The 22 kilowatt capacity Lower Hewakhola Project is also about to be completed. According to project chief Ganesh Subba, the project will be completed by April 7, 2018. He said they were preparing to connect the power generated from the project to the national grid through NEA’s sub-station located at Thapatar. Investors frequently complained about the problem to the NEA but all went down the drain.

Shailendra Guragain, the president of Independent Power Producers’ Association of Nepal, said that the projects that were nearing completion would face problems if the NEA did not become serious about constructing the power transmission line for the projects on time. He said the NEA should find out the reasons behind the delay and resolve the issues at the earliest.

However, the NEA has said that the construction work of the transmission line is going smoothly. Spokesperson of NEA, Prabal Adhikari said NEA chief executive officer Kulman Ghising had already given necessary instructions to the construction company to speed up the construction work. The NEA, nevertheless, said that the local administration had not been very much cooperative in expediting the construction work.

Locals are dissatisfied with compensation distributed for land which has caused problems in constructing as many 22 towers of the transmission line.

In this connection, the NEA has urged the Chief District Officer of Panchthar to use his good offices to settle compensation issue as soon as possible.

A version of this article appears in print on December 23, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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