NA to invest in hydropower project for the first time

KATHMANDU: The Nepali Army (NA) is all set to invest in 12.25 MW Madikhola Hydropower Project, Rolpa, for the first time.

The budget programme of the current fiscal year and the white paper recently issued by Finance Minister, Bishnu Prasad Poudel, incorporates the plan to mobilise army in the hydropower sector.

The project was in NA's 'basket fund' for a long time, however, discussion regarding its modality is still underway.

In today's meeting of the State Affairs Committee under the Legislature Parliament, Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Rajendra Chhetri said that the NA has already sent a letter to the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Energy regarding the modality of the Madikhola Hydropower Project.

CoAS Chhetri shared that they have been holding discussion with the ministries and soon the construction of the project would be forwarded after the decision.

He further said that the NA made the decision to invest in the hydropower sector after lawmakers urged them to resolve the problem of energy crisis by utilising the Army Welfare Fund of Rs 35 billion.

Lawmaker Gangalal Tuladhar urged the NA to involve in hydropower production, saying the existing energy crisis faced by the country, would be resolved if the NA could forward the hydropower projects in a planned manner.

The government decided to forward the Khimti-Dhalkebar transmission line after solve the problems that surfaced regarding the distribution of compensation and land ownership during its construction, by mobilising NA.

Likewise, lawmakers- Aindra Sundar Nembang and Yagya Raj Sunuwar, Nabindra Raj Joshi, Rameshwor Phunyal, second that the mobilisation of Army Welfare Fund can help resolve the energy crisis.

The Madikhola hydropower project incorporates three projects-12.25 MW Madichaour hydropower project, 8.4 MW Madi hydropower project and 3.6 MW Lower Madi hydropower project.

CoAS Chhetri informed that they will get involved in other development construction as well on the basis of government's direction and supervision in the future.