Ilam locals elated as hydro projects construct roads


    Hydropower development has come as a huge relief for the people of rural areas of the district because of road constructions carried out by the projects.

    A road connecting Fikkal-Arubote-Namsaling built by the Jogmai Khola Hydroelectricity Project has made commuting easy for the locals.

    According to Netra Dahal of Nayabazaar, Pramejung, commuting was difficult before as locals had to travel through cliffs and high-current rivers. “The locals had never expected that a road would be constructed through the cliff and the river so soon.”

    The project constructed the 15km road to make transportation easy for heavy vehicles. Moreover, the project plans to extend the road to Namsaling.

    Bodraj Sauden of Sulubung said he was able to ride his vehicle after the Upper Mai Hydroproject upgraded a road connecting Gairigaun and Jamuna.

    Apart from building roads, the projects have also created employment. There are half dozen projects under construction in the district. Most of the projects have employed locals. These projects have kept road construction in top priority. Santosh Pradhan, executive director of Mai Valley Hydropower, said the projects were trying to address the locals’ demand for road construction and maintenance. The Upper Mai casket project in Sulunung and Jamuna has also made other contributions besides road and electrification.

    Joshi Hydropower, which operates Upper Puwa Khola project, has widened existing roads and constructed an all-weather road from Puwa Khola Bajaar to Puwa Majuwa. Sanima Hydropower has also assisted the locals in road construction, drinking water projects and building construction in Danabari, Chisapani and Soyak.

    While constructing two 29MW projects, the company also provided ample job opportunities to locals.

    Puwakhola I Hydropower Project claimed it has constructed a 45km road connecting Barbote, Shakejung and Illam municipality. The project has also invested in an irrigation project. According to the company, 45 locals have received officer-level jobs, while hundreds of others are working as labourers.

    Meanwhile, various projects with a combined capacity of 43MW have completed construction.

    Within two years, total electricity production of the district will reach 78MW.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post