How likely is the Karnali Chisapani hydroelectric project to be built?


Karnali Chisapani hydropower project, one of the largest and most attractive in the world, has not shown any readiness in construction. The study of this project, which has the largest (10,800 MW) capacity in Nepal, has been done several times. It has been more than 5 decades since the first study.

According to the latest study, the construction of Karnali Chisapani hydropower project will cost 20 trillion rupees. It is estimated that more than 200,000 people will be displaced during the construction of this project with an annual output of 20,000 gigawatts. After the construction of this project, irrigation facilities will be facilitated in 0.2 Million hectares of land in Nepal and 0.34 million hectares in India. Experts say that the dam of Karnali Chisapani hydropower project will also contribute significantly to flood control in India and Bangladesh.

Why is there a delay in the construction of the project that gives so many benefits? Isn’t the construction of this project impossible? Questions and suspicions are justified. Ganesh Karki, Chairman of Independent Power Producers’ Association, Nepal (IPPAN) says, “The Karnali Chisapani hydropower project is not impossible. The government should be clear about how to use such big projects after they are completed.

He suggested that the government should plan how much of the produced electricity will be consumed domestically and how much will be exported abroad. According to him, it is not possible to raise the investment needed to build a hydropower project of this scale from the government or the banking system of Nepal. In that case, foreign investment should be brought.

IPPAN President Karki is of the opinion that if the government starts taking the lead in the construction of large projects, it can be done, but if it maintains the sense of inferiority that it cannot be done, it will not be possible. According to him, the first priority for the construction of this project is Indian investment. “It is not enough to just be an Indian.

In the era of globalization, investors from all over the world can come,” he said. According to Karki, the lack of readiness in the government and the lack of cooperation with India are the main reasons why this project has not been completed by this time. The spokesperson of the Ministry of Energy, Madhu Vetwal, says that the construction of this project is a very difficult task. Karnali Chisapani is a very big project.

It requires a lot of investment. It is equally sensitive,” he said. “Neighboring country India will get more benefits of irrigation from this project. Naturally, India also takes the advantage of floods. Issues such as the benefits of the lower coastal areas are still under discussion.’ Spokesman Vetwal argues that since the electricity produced by large projects cannot be consumed in the current market of Nepal, the creation of a new market is also a challenge.

Source: Abhiyan Daily