May 12, 2019
Jajarkot: The consultant tasked for preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Nalsing Gadh Hydropower Project has not yet completed the task assigned to it, even in the extended deadline.
A total of 36 months have elapsed after the consultant was assignment the task, which was supposed to take not more than 30 months.
The government had awarded the task to a joint venture company SMEC-MWH-Uday Consult, owned by Australian, American and Nepali entrepreneurs, in May 2016. After its failure to complete the tasks, the consultant was given another six months in December 2018.
Even the extended deadline to submit the report to Nalsing Gadh Company Limited, the government-owned entity to build the project, expired on Wednesday.
The consultant was assigned the task at a price of Rs 940 million. The works required to prepare the DPR include: hydrology measurement, geological survey, drilling, study of potential power optimization, field survey, and environment impact assessments, among others.
The CEO of Nalsing Gadh Company Limited, Ramkaji Thapa, informed that the consultant has completed only 80 percent of the tasks. The audit tunnels for testing geology at the power house area are incomplete, while public hearing for EIA is yet to be done. Only 180-meter tunnel has been built so far out of required 345 meters in the power house area. However, a total of 240 meters have been dug for four different audit tunnels at the dam site.
Thapa said that the consultant has demanded another three months for completing the DPR of the project, adding that the Nalsing Gadh Company was mulling to give them the extension.
The locals claim that the consultant has not worked diligently and the authorities have not made rigorous supervision, which are the reasons behind the delay. The DPR gives a foundation for starting the reservoir project of estimated installed capacity of 410 MW.
The project is attractive not only for its commercial value, but also for the minimum damages to be caused to the arable land and the least number of people and households to be displaced compared to other projects of similar size.
Only 6,000 ropanis of land will be submerged by the reservoir, while only 800 people from 150 households are to be resettled due to the project.
Locals have blamed the government for not taking the project seriously, though the project is said to be of a high priority.
“The government says Nalsing Gadh is its priority project, but it has not shown any seriousness to develop it in time,” said Bin Bahadur Singh, a local.
The project’s development modality has not yet been fixed. The company may start discussing its development modality only after receiving the completed DPR.
Source: The Kathmandu Post