KATHMANDU, Sept 28: A recent test of releasing water into the tunnel of 22MW Mai Hydropower Project from its dam has broken the canal open. This incident is bound to delay the project by at least three to four months, according to sources privy to the development.
The project being developed by Sanima Mai Hydropower Limited in Ilam district had recently entered into the phase of testing after completing all construction works.
The sources claimed that problem surfaced due to non- compliance of standard norms during the construction works.
Now around 15 to 20 meters of the cannel need to be dismantled and it takes three to four months to rebuild the structure.
Another source at Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) argued that the problem in the canal occurred due to inefficient amount of water released from the dam.
However, Director of the company Subarna Das Shrestha maintained that there was only a minor crack in the canal, which can be maintained with minor repair work.
Shrestha further said that such problem will also not make any difference in the testing of the power house. “We are waiting for the completion of NEA´s Kabeli corridor transmission line of 90 km,” added Shrestha.
NEA sources, however, said that Sanima Mai is yet to complete the transmission line of 11 km to connect to the NEA´s substation at Godak of Ilam.
“Some work of fitting insulator is yet to be done in the transmission line,” added a source.
But, he added that there is not much work left in the transmission line of 11-km except fitting a thinner communication wire along the transmission line.
Shrestha, however, insisted that due to delay in the transmission line on the part of NEA, they are forced to remain idle and have to demobilize their staffs as they can not test the generation without the transmission line.
The country is yet to have a regulating agency of the hydropower projects to ensure quality work. Hydropower projects come into government ownership after 30 years of their operation.
Uddhab Lal Shrestha, project manager of Kabeli corridor transmission line, said that they are working fast to complete the transmission line by October.
So far only 5 km cable-stringing works has been completed out of 34 km stretch of the 132 kV transmission line that connects Godak Substation from Damak of Jhapa.
Likewise, 25 towers are yet to be erected to complete the wire stringing to connect Godak.
Shrestha said they have been mobilizing a team of Indian workforce even during the Dashain festival.
Earlier problems related land acquisition had led to rescheduling the deadline to complete the transmission line from May.
The project is said to ease the power crisis in the eastern region, mainly of the industrial areas in Sunsari and Morang districts.
This is not only the hydropower project facing sluggish progress in the construction of transmission line. There are several other projects facing similar problems even after their completion.
And the number of such projects is likely to increase soon if NEA, the only developer of the transmission line, does not improve its tardy pace and solve the bottlenecks through policy changes.
Source : Republica