RASUWA, MAY 02 –
After the contractor China Gezhouba Group Co failed to complete the project as scheduled on April 30, 2013, the NEA board extended the deadline until June 30, 2016. Originally, the project was slated for completion by June 30, 2011.
China Gezhouba had long been pressing the NEA to extend the deadline as it had fallen behind schedule. The contractor had stopped work for five months since July 2013 in a bid to emphasize its point. It resumed work in December 2013.
The Upper Trishuli hydro project is located in Manakamana VDC of Nuwakot district and Dada Gaun VDC of Rasuwa district.
The company had made a sustained attempt in the past to have the project’s capacity upgraded from 60 MW to 90 MW. However, it did not happen due to strong opposition from politicians and the media.
The contractor is currently engaged in building a powerhouse, tunnel and dam along with buildings for offices, residences and security personnel. Currently, 42 percent of the construction has been completed.
Project chief Uttam Amatya said they had handed over the official documents related to the deadline extension to the contractor on Tuesday. “Since the documents have been presented, the time extension is now official,” he said.
Earlier, China Gezhouba had claimed damages in the amount of Rs 9 billion for disruption of work due to various reasons. The NEA said that a number of expense headings had been repeated. “We will investigate the dispute by forming a separate mechanism,” said Amatya.
The Chinese contractor had demanded compensation for work delays caused by obstruction by local people, late shipment of detonators from India and indecision by the NEA regarding upgrading the project’s capacity from 60 MW to 90 MW.
China Gezhouba has appointed Dinkar Sharma to the negotiation team while the NEA is yet to name its representative for the planned talks.
Meanwhile, NEA officials have accused the Chinese contractor of inflating its losses even though it failed to complete the project on time. Amatya said that the mechanism to be formed would also study who was responsible for the delay and recommend the amount of compensation accordingly.
As per the contract, the NEA is required to erect a 46-km transmission line from Manakamana switchyard, Nuwakot to Matatirtha, Kathmandu. However, the transmission line project also remains incomplete.
Source : The Kathmandu Post