KAVRE, DEC 31 –
Energy Minstry will start the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the 536-MW Sunkoshi III hydropower project from 2014.
The Department of Electricity Development is starting the DPR process after it received loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The department is currently holding discussions on the modality for the study, according to Senior Divisional Engineer Gokarna Raj Panta, who is also the spokesperson for the department. The DPR is expected to complete within the next two years.
Officials at the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) say the project can be completed by 2021 if construction is started immediately after the DPR. Located around 60km away from the Capital, the project is considered among the 10 best reservoir projects, according to a study carried out by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with the NEA. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 100 billion.
According to NEA, the Central Development Region, which also includes the Kathmandu valley, consumes 50 percent electricity produced in the country. And, the project is expected to address power demand in the region.
Constitution Assembly (CA) member from Kavre 1 Tirtha Lama said he would pressure the government to complete the project. “I will make special efforts from the CA and also ask the government to make sure the work is completed on time,” said Lama. Around 1,000 houses between Thulo Pashale and Dolalghat are expected to be inundated during the construction. A feasibility study of the reservoir type project conducted in 1983 has said the houses can be resettled in places like Pachkhal, Timal and on the other side of the Koshi River.
The resettlement areas are planned to be developed as a satellite city after the project completes.
Former state minister for energy Surya Man Dong said the areas could be converted into a tourist site as it has possibilities for activities like rafting, among others. “The project will transform this area,” he said.
Locals are enthused with the latest development. “We are ready to provide any kind of support for this project,” said Salam Singh Lama, a local resident.
The locals are also planning to form a committee to pressure the government to start the project at the earliest.
Source : The Kathmandu Post