Work was affected until recently by incessant rain at the project site,” said Dipendra Raj Dwivedi, the NEA-appointed project chief of Kabeli Corridor. “But the weather has improved, and we are on track to complete the rest of the work within a couple of months.”
The construction of the 132 kV double-circuit transmission line is divided into three sections. The first section stretching from Damak to Godak is complete, and the third section extending from Phidim to Taplejung is in the final stage of completion. Construction work on the second section from Godak to Phidim, which was delayed due to protests by locals, is going on smoothly, according to the project office.
The power line project faced a major hurdle at Siddhithumka, Deumai Municipality after locals refused to give right of way to string electric wires over their land. Locals of Siddhithumka had demanded 100 percent compensation for their land to provide right of way, obstructing the construction of 11 towers in the area.
The NEA had offered a compensation rate of 10 percent of the land value for 9 metres of land on either side of the transmission line as per the prevailing law, but locals turned it down.
The law states that 100 percent compensation will be paid for land where the tower is built, and 10 percent compensation for right of way over land over which the transmission line passes.
The dispute was resolved after elected local representatives convinced the residents not to obstruct development activities and offer right of way as per the prevailing law. Locals, NEA officials and local representatives reached a settlement during a meeting in March.
The construction of the Kabeli Corridor Transmission Line has been delayed by political instability, negligence of the contractor, obstruction by landowners, difficult terrain and delayed permission for cutting trees.
The power line will feed the power generated by hydroelectricity projects on the Kabeli, Hewa and Mai rivers in Panchthar and Taplejung into the national grid. The transmission line extends over various parts of Jhapa, Ilam, Panchthar, Tehrathum and Taplejung districts.