Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa Transmission Line Construction in Full Swing, Despite Obstructions

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Kathmandu, 27 October 2023. The wire-pulling work of the Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa 400 KV double circuit transmission line project under construction for the strengthening of the electricity transmission system within the country and the electricity trade between Nepal and India is going on in full swing.
The length of the transmission line is 288 km, starting from Thanabhayang located in Hetaunda sub-metropolitan city-11 of Makwanpur and passing through Dhalkebar in Dhanusha to Inruwa sub-station located in Bhokraha Narsingh rural municipality-4 of Sunsari.
The transmission line is being constructed in two sections, Hetauda-Dhalkebar 134 km and Dhalkebar-Inaruwa 154 km. 4 km of wire has been stretched towards Hetauda-Dhalkebar section and 40 km towards Dhalkebar-Inaruwa section. Wire pulling is currently concentrated towards the Dhalkebar-Inaruwa section.
792 towers have to be constructed for the transmission lines in hilly, Shivalik Chure and Terai areas. Out of this, 757 towers have been laid. 750 towers have been erected. The remaining 35 towers could only be started due to the continued obstruction by the locals demanding to shift the route of the transmission line.
The work of pulling the wire is also affected when the locals who have the right of way of the transmission line are obstructing it in some places. Wire pulling work is going on in Dhalkebar-Inaruwa section now. Five teams have been mobilized for this. The goal is to complete the work by next December.
The Nepal Electricity Authority is under pressure to complete this transmission line as soon as possible in order to meet the electricity demand of the entire east including the Morang-Sunsari industrial corridor during the winter months of this year, to import more electricity from India and to export the electricity saved in the country during the rainy season.
The authority’s managing director Kulman Ghising’s team monitored the wire pulling work being done in Ramdhuni Municipality area of Sunsari on Thursday. Rakesh Surana, President of Industry Organization Morang, was also invited to inform the team about the possible power supply problems that may occur in the Morang-Sunsari Industrial Corridor if the transmission line cannot be built due to obstacles.
Managing Director Ghising said that if the entire mechanism of the state does not support the completion of the strategically important Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa transmission line, a big disaster may occur.
“There are obstacles in the construction of the transmission line, now five teams are working to pull the wire, adding more teams to speed up the work is a problem due to local obstacles, the efforts being made to open it are failing”, Ghising said. The 400 KV line is very important; all three substations of 400-220 KV capacity are ready. A serious situation may occur.”
Hetaunda Sub-Metropolitan Wards 15, 16 and 17 situation Hatia and Sarlahi’s Lalbandi Municipality’s Jiyajor area has been obstructed in construction for about 6 years. There are 14 towers in Hatia area, 2 towers in Hetauda-11 Thanabhayang and 8 towers in Jiajor area. 2 towers have to be constructed to penetrate the line at Thanabh¥yangmas substation. More than 46 houses built on Ailani land will be affected by this.
The continuous efforts made by the authority to open the local barriers are not being successful. The transmission line is located in 10 districts namely Makwanpur, Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha, Saptari, Udaipur and Sunsari.
The construction is being affected due to the obstruction of the locals in the construction demanding to change the route of the transmission line, the interim order of the Supreme Court, the procedural entanglement of forest area land use and tree felling approval, the poor performance of the contractor, etc. The contract was signed in January 2069 to complete the construction in 30 months.
The Hetaunda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa 440 kV transmission line is close to and mostly parallel to the existing 132 kV transmission line and the East-West Highway. The right-of-way area of the transmission line will be 23 ÷ 23 meters from the center point of the transmission line to the right and left. The project has to cut trees in 518 hectares of forest area and acquire 30 hectares of private agricultural land. 475 hectares of private land and 171 houses and other structures will be affected in the right-of-way.
The project, which has an estimated cost of 170 million US dollars, has been started under the Nepal-India Power Transmission and Trade Project with investment from the Government of Nepal, Electricity Authority and concessional loans from the World Bank. After the loan from the World Bank is closed, the rest of the work is being done with the investment of the Nepalese government and authorities.