Energy Minister Urges Forest Ministry to Resolve Forest-Related Issues to Expedite Hydropower and Irrigation Projects

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Sept. 26: Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet has requested the Ministry of Forest and Environment to resolve the problems related to forest immediately to expedite the construction works of hydropower and irrigation projects.

He made this remark during a discussion with Minister for Forest and Environment Birendra Prasad Mahato in order to solve the problems regarding land use and tree felling in the forest area at the Ministry of Forest and Environment Sunday.

Minister Basent requested that the problem be resolved immediately as it was found that the work of hydropower and irrigation projects has not progressed for a long time due to the lack of agreement regarding the use of land in the forest area.

He said that there were problems in most of the transmission line projects and due to obstacles to get permission to use the land in the forest area, the cost of the project increased and as the time also increased, complications were created nationally.

Stating that there is a trend of only pointing out the problem and not looking for a solution, he urged the Ministry of Forestry and the concerned authorities to find a solution immediately.

“This is not only a problem of the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation and the Ministry of Forest and Environment, it is a national problem.

If it has to be resolved legally, then amend the law, if it is to be resolved by the Council of Ministers, then take it to the Council of Ministers,” Minister Basnet said.

“If it can be resolved practically, then resolve it at the lower level. But the country had to suffer a huge loss due to delays in the projects for a long time.”

Minister Basnet said that in order to promote green energy production, the Ministry of Forest and Environment should facilitate the Ministry of Energy.

Stating that if permission is not obtained for land use and tree cutting in the forest area, it will not be possible to bring more electricity to the Kathmandu Valley and requested to take this issue seriously.

Stating that problems have been observed in most of the transmission lines and now such projects cannot be carried forward, Minister Basnet urged the Ministry of Forestry to consider it as a national responsibility and try to solve it.

Minister Basnet said that the problem cannot be protracted for a long time and requested to proceed immediately as the entire Karnali Province is in darkness due to the Kohalpur-Surkhet transmission line.

Due to being unable to work within the National Park, the 132 kV transmission line has not been able to move forward for a long time.

On that occasion, Minister for Forest and Environment Mahato said that in order to implement the commitment made by the government in the international forum on clean energy production, it is necessary to facilitate the construction of hydropower projects.

He said that as the work of building physical infrastructure is of national need and importance, it should not be thought of in a very conservative way.

Stating that the energy sector is considered a pillar of the country’s economic development, it is the responsibility of all of us to facilitate it, Minister Mahato instructed all the subordinate officers to act accordingly.

Source: Rising Nepal