Govt indecision delays Madi-1 hydel project

Himalayan News Service

Pokhara, May 22:

The Madi-1 hydel project, which should have kicked off a year ago, is facing uncertainty. The project is not able to go ahead as the government has granted permission to generate 10 MW electricity only, said Kamal Thapa, the president of Annapurna Group Pvt Ltd. He said the application was made for 20 MW capacity but no decision has been taken as yet. “Operating at a lower capacity, the production cost will differ into millions,” he added. Ten MW production will cost Rs 190 million to Rs 200 million whereas 20 MW capacity will cost Rs 130 million only, said Thapa. This is the reason why they sought permission for 20 MW, he said. Estimated to cost Rs 2 billion and 600 million, the project was planned to be completed within four years. A 7.6 metre road has been constructed, the Annapurna group informed. An agreement was reached between Nepal Electricity Authority and the group on its transaction in November 2003. The accord states that the NEA will buy electricity at Rs 4.25 during the dry season and at Rs 3.00 during summers. The condition stipulates the group to distribute electricity by December 15, 2008, said Thapa. A 14 metre high dam site has been located on the border of north-east Kalika VDC’s Chitrebesi which is 17 km away from Pokhara, Chhahare Kuna of Thuma’s Danda VDC and Sildujure VDC. A 4.44 km tunnel with 3.2 metre to four metre diameter will be constructed for the water flow. The power house will be constructed at Idi Deurali of Danda VDC in Thuma. The water will be supplied through two steel pipes to the power house.