Commencement of Construction for Lower Indrawati Hydropower Project

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Kathmandu, construction work has begun on the structure of the 4.5-megawatt Lower Indrawati Hydropower Project located in Sindhupalchok. The construction of the project, which had been halted for a considerable period due to permit issues, has now been restarted.

On Monday a formal ceremony is scheduled to take place at the project site to mark the commencement of the main tunnel excavation. Out of the 3-kilometer main tunnel designated for the project, a substantial 2.400 kilometers have already been successfully excavated.

Kumar Pandey, the Chairman of the promoter National Hydropower Company, has disclosed that the excavation for the remaining tunnels is already underway. He further mentioned that the focus will now shift to commencing work on the main tunnel, with subsequent initiation of construction for the remaining structures.

During the program, Aitman Tamang, the head of Melamchi Municipality, expressed his unwavering readiness to provide essential support from the local level for the project’s construction. He affirmed his commitment to collaborate seamlessly to ensure the smooth completion of the work.

Likewise, Deputy Chief Uma Pradhan emphasized that the project will significantly contribute to uplifting the living standards of the local residents. She highlighted the potential of the project to generate employment opportunities, acting as a deterrent to the migration of young people abroad to some extent.

As per the company’s assessment, Melamchi Municipality’s Wards 7 through 11 will be directly impacted by this project. The estimated cost for the hydroelectric project’s construction is 25 million rupees. The company has successfully completed the preliminary environmental impact assessment along with the public hearing program.

According to the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Nepal Electricity Authority, the project is scheduled to be completed and generate electricity by December 2024. After 40% of the construction was completed, the National Hydropower Company again took the license of the canceled project, studied the project and collected investment and brought it to the construction stage.

Lower Indrawati represents a cascade project derived from the 7.5 MW Indrawati III. The company has invested approximately 300 million rupees in the reconstruction of previously constructed structures.

A decade ago, the National Hydro project’s permit was revoked due to irregularities and severe corruption involving the operators. Following the cancellation, the project permit,
previously held by the government, was reissued to the original company last year through a competitive process after extensive discussions and legal proceedings.

Following the revocation of approval in 2011, construction came to a halt. Subsequently, the National Hydropower Company Limited, through a government-conducted auction, resumed electricity generation. As part of this process, the company reinstated the project’s approval by remitting 62 million rupees to the government.

Source: Nepal Purbadhar