Half a dozen hydro projects to be affected

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    PANCHTHAR, MAR 31 –

    trlAbout half dozen hydropower projects which are under construction along the Kabeli Corridor are likely to be affected by the delay in the construction of the transmission line.

    Problems related to land acquisition, compensation, and environment impact assessment have delayed the power line project, according to developer Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

    The project was scheduled to be completed this year, but it is unlikely meet the target due to the slow pace of work.

    The under-construction hydropower projects have expressed fear that they may face huge losses due to the delay in the power line project.

    Hydropower projects need to test their power on a transmission line and connect to the national grid, but the projects along the corridor may have to wait longer for doing so.

    The under-construction projects include Sanima Mai (22MW), Hewa Khola (15MW), Fawa khola (5MW), Upper Mai (10MW), Maikhola Cascet (8MW) and Upper Puwa khola (3MW). Work on Kabeli A (37MW) is about to begin.

    Kabeli Corridor Project Chief Udddav Lal Shrestha said the delay in the transmission line will affect several projects in Mechi zones, whose combined capacity is around 150MW.

    “It is necessary to complete the project as soon as possible in order to connect the power generated by these hydro projects to the national grid,” said Shrestha.

    “But it is delaying due to various problems related to land acquisition, compensation payment and environment impact assessment.”

    He said the project is initiating work in different phases after solving local problems.

    The government has allocated Rs 1.58 billion for the project this year. The World Bank has assisted the project.

    Currently, NEA has been constructing sub-stations in Amarpur and Thapatar of Panchthar, Godak of Ilam and Lakhanpur of Jhapa. The 90-km Kabeli Corridor stretches from Kabeli, Panchthar to Lakhanpur, Jhapa.

    Of the 257 towers to be built, foundation for only around three dozen towers has been dug so far.

    The transmission line will affect 1,900 households of 25 VDCs along the corridor. The project’s Public Relation Officer Prem Raj Limbu said they are constructing the power line from Padajungi to Godak in the first phase so that the power generated from Sanima Mai can be evacuated. Sanima Mai is expected to complete by the next 3-4 months.

    Limbu said they have planned to complete the Soyak-Chamaita section in the second phase and Chamaita-Phidim in the third. “The project will be completed at the end of 2015,” he said.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post