SANKHUWASABHA: Members of the Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) of Arun-3 Hydropower Project, led by its Chair and the Joint Secretary of the Office of the Investment Board Nepal (OIBN) Mr. Balaram Rijyal, visited the project sites in Phaksinda and Diding of Makalu and Chichila rural municipalities of Sankhuwasabha respectively from December 3 to 6, 2019. The team comprised of the Senior Divisional Engineer at the OIBN and Member Secretary of the PMU Mr. Sunil Poudel, Under Secretary at OIBN Mr. Ishwori Prasad Dhakal, and consultants at OIBN Mr. Ratish Basnyat, Mr. Anup Kumar Shrestha and Mr. Bipin Basnet.
The PMU is chaired by the Joint Secretary of OIBN and is represented by the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, the National Planning Commission, and Nepal Electricity Authority. The PMU was formed on April 28, 2018 as per the decision of the 30th meeting of the Investment Board Nepal chaired by the Right Honorable Prime Minister Mr. K. P. Sharma Oli. The Project Development Agreement (PDA) signed between OIBN and the developer of the Arun-3 project SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Co. Ltd. (SAPDC) on November 25, 2014, had provisions for the establishment of a PMU to monitor the status of the technical, financial and socio-environmental responsibilities of the developer and the Government of Nepal under the terms of the PDA.
The PMU team held a meeting with the CEO of SAPDC Mr. Arun Dhiman and other high officials of SAPDC at Tumlingtar and discussed the construction work being carried out in the project sites. The team expressed their satisfaction with the progress, management and development of the Arun-3 project and assured SAPDC of OIBN’s facilitation and cooperation in completing the project within the scheduled timeframe.
The members visited and monitored work on the head race tunnel, dam stripping at both banks, diversion tunnel, power house cavern, transformer cavern, surge shaft and other structures at the powerhouse site. The members also observed the growth in economic activities that has resulted since the construction of the project. As per the PDA requirements, the project developer SAPDC has to send all logged grievances and SAPDC’s responses to OIBN and PMU at the end of each month. The PMU is responsible for preparing the Social Monitoring Report regarding the project.