102-MW Madhya Bhotekoshi enters construction phase

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    CHAUTARA, DEC 30 –

    Middle_Bhotekoshi_Adit-2 ( Diversion Tunnel)Madhya Bhotekoshi Hydro-power Project developed by Chilime Hydropower Company has finally entered its construction phase.

    The 102-MW project, which acquired production license around three weeks ago, plans to start the construction of the main foundation from mid-April 2014. To this effect, work on the test audit of a tunnel and distribution of compensation has reached final stages.

    According to Project chief Prakash Wasti, the project will award contracts for civil engineering and hydromechanical work to China’s Gaunaxin International, which was selected among 10 other bidders.

    The project has completed 70 percent construction of a test tunnel. The 35-m test tunnel will be 6m tall and 6m wide.

    The project has been acquiring houses and land around the site for the proposed dam and power house. A total of 51 houses at Chaku Bazaar and its surroundings are being provided compensation for acquisition.

    Three government offices located at the project site are also being relocated soon. “As of now, around Rs 132 million has been distributed in compensation,” said Hari Krishna Upreti, head of public relations at the project.

    The project, which is likely to affect five VDCs, said it would provide Rs 10 million annually to the affected people for the next 35 years.

    The project had reached a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) in October 2011, and is slated to complete in 2016. As of now, the project is running five months behind schedule, but it has committed to complete the task within the designated deadline. The project’s estimated cost is Rs 14 billion.

    According to Upreti, locals affected by the project will be offered a 10 percent share. Chilime Hydropower Company, which has a 38 percent stake in the project, will distribute 3 percent of the shares to 79 VDCs and the district development committee.

    The project has also decided to provide 0.5 percent share to the people whose land has been acquired for the project. Upreti said 341 ropanies land has been acquired for the power house and other infrastructure. The Employees Providend Fund (EPF) is lending half of the project cost. For this, Madhya Bhotekoshi, Chilime and EPF signed a trilateral agreement in mid-November 2011.

    Meanwhile, Sindhu Investment, promoted by the locals, has announced to invest Rs 60 million in the project. According to Sindhu Chairman Naresh Lal Shrestha, Rs 7.8 million has already been given.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post

    Photo : mbjcl