Nepal Electricity Authority Provincial Office, Attariya, has started constructing a substation of electricity authority at a place prone to landslides in Badimalika Municipality, Bajura.

The 33-kv transmission line and substation is being constructed at a place vulnerable to landslides. The site is also at risk of other disaster such as erosion. The site has already been encroached by Bahulikhola. Construction of the transmission line and substation has started without studying the risk of landslides and without any environment impact assessment.

Chief of Electricity Authority Sudurpaschim Provincial Office, Attariya, Jagadis Chandra Joshi said construction of the Sanphe-Martadi 33-kv transmission line and substation project had already started. He said contract for the project worth over Rs nine crore, 69 lakh had already been signed and work had started. Waiba Infratek Pvt Ltd Bijeshwori, Kathmandu, has been entrusted with the contract for construction of the substation line at an estimated price of over Rs nine crore, 45 lakh.

The contract was signed on 27 July 2020. As per the agreement, the construction work will be completed within 18 months of the agreement.

Construction of foundation of the substation is under way.

Joshi, however, said that the construction site was not at risk of landslide.

He added that landslides at nearby places would not affect the constriction site. He added that the substation was being constructed on the land offered by the municipality.

According to Nepal Electricity Authority Provincial Office, EIA has to be conducted only for big projects. "It is not required for construction of a substation," he added.

Chairman of Gaumul Rural Municipality Hari Bahadur Rokaya also admitted that the site was at risk of landslide, but the authorities concerned had ignored this. Badimalika Municipality Mayor Padam Bahadur Baduwal said that they had searched for land at many places but could not find a better place.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 27 2021, of The Himalayan Times.