Resume work, say locals
Stalled construction at Trishuli project
- Post Report, NUWAKOT Kathmandu Post
Dec 3, 2015-
Local leaders have demanded that the stalled construction work at the Trishuli 3A hydropower project be restarted immediately. No work has been done at the 60 MW project since the April 25 earthquake. The leaders have asked the project to provide a progress report. They have also urged the government to accord top priority to complete the construction.
The hydropower project is spread over Manakamana VDC of Nuwakot district and Dada Gaun VDC of Rasuwa district. Phadindra Raj Joshi, chief of the project, said that a landslide triggered by the earthquake had completely obliterated a stretch of the 5-km road leading to the project, and that work had to be stopped as a result.
Joshi added that China Gezhouba Group, the contractor of the project, had brought the construction work to a halt as the road was blocked. “The status of the project has been relayed to the Chinese government.” The project is funded by China Exim Bank, the first such scheme in Nepal. Joshi said that if work was resumed without conducting a proper assessment of the damage caused to the road, settlements located above it could be put to risk.
The project had originally been slated for completion by June 30, 2011. After the Chinese contractor failed to complete the project as scheduled on April 30, 2013, the Nepal Electricity Authority extended the deadline until June 30, 2016.
The hydropower project became mired in controversy after its contractor tried to increase the capacity to 90 MW, leading to time overruns. Following repeated delays, local leaders had drawn the attention of the chief district officer that the project should not be stopped at any cost.
“Locals are ready to help the project and it should be developed soon,” said Narayan Khatiwada, district chairman of the CPN-UML. “In this difficult situation, the project should not be delayed any longer.”More than 70 percent of the construction work has been completed. The earthquake had also slowed the construction of a 45-km transmission line that would evacuate the power generated by the project. Last March, Nuwakot locals demanding a higher compensation amount for their land had attacked workers building the power line and prevented them from carrying out their task. The project has distributed compensation payments for the 45-km stretch extending from Archali, Manakamana to Matatirtha, Kathmandu. A total of 143 towers are planned to be erected for the 220 kV transmission line.