Hydropower projects still under the pinch of border blockade
Published: March 03, 2016 5:28 pm On: The Himalayan Times
KATHMANDU: Some of the under-construction hydropower projects are still unable to resume the construction works due to the shortage of fuel supply.
Although the government had said that it would supply adequate fuel to the hydropower projects, it has not been able to do so even after a month of the ending of the unannounced border blockade imposed by India on Nepal.
The Nepal Oil Corporation’s Thankot depot has supplied only 50 per cent of the fuel demanded by the hydropower projects in deference to the request of the Ministry of Energy to the Ministry of Supplies for the same.
The construction of the Shanjen, Upper Shanjen and the Rasuwagadhi hydropower projects located in Rasuwa has not progressed as expected since these projects have not been supplied fuel as demanded.
Even though the government had stated that the Shanjen and Upper Shanjen hydropower projects would be supplied with 12,000 litres fuel a week, the projects have been getting this amount of fuel only after long wait which will meet the demands for only three to four days, it is said.
Construction materials like cement and rod that were stalled at the customs after the border blockade have not reached the project sites yet.
Chief of the Shanjen Hydropower Project, Giriraj Adhikari said that the fuel provided by the government has been used in the construction of the tunnel and other structures. “We have started general works since February 3. We had to stop the construction works for long due to the shortage of fuel,” Adhikari said, adding that the construction work that was stopped for a short period following the April 25 earthquake had to be halted for long due to the fuel crisis.
The Upper Shanjen has the capacity to generate 18.8 megawatt while Shanjen has 42.5 megawatt capacity.
Similarly, construction of the 111-megawatt-capacity Rasuwagadhi Hydropower Project is also stalled due to the fuel shortage.