Nalsingad hydel project in limbo

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    Oct 30, 2017-The construction of the much talked about Nalsingad Hydropower Project located in mid-western Nepal is in limbo after being mired in delays.

    The project’s detailed project report (DPR) has yet to be prepared. The issue of compensation distribution for locals affected by the project is also weighing the whole project down.

    To make matters worse, the entity authorised to develop the hydropower, Electricity Generation Company, is clueless about the modality for the project development. This has resulted in the construction of the project being delayed.

    CEO of the company, Narendra Singh Bhandari, explained that limited resources were behind the delay in execution of compensation distribution for the 410MW project.

    “The compensation distribution is in limbo due to lack of funds,” said Bhandari, “The government has allocated Rs10 million for compensation distribution but it is not even enough to acquire 40 ropanies of private land.”

    The project has to acquire 6000 ropanies of land for the construction of the hydropower plant. However, till date it has acquired only 281 ropanies of land. Bhandari said the project needs Rs 120 million immediately to acquire 200 ropanies of land for the project construction site.

    The 410 MW project in Jajarkot district had been identified as one of the potential storage-type hydropower projects by the Identification and Feasibility Study of Storage Projects conducted in 1999-2001. But the project landed in trouble after the government decided to scrap Nalsingad Development Committee and build the project under company model in April.

    “The development committee had set the project moving smoothly but the government decision to develop it under company model halted the work completely,” and Amrit Oli, district chairman of Netra Bikram Chand led Communist Party of Nepal.

    Similarly, the DPR preparation of the project is also in limbo. The Nalsingad Project, which is waiting for the DPR from SMEC MWH Uday—the consultant appointed to prepare the report—has yet to receive said report.

    Nepal Electricity Authority completed the project’s feasibility study, which cost around Rs1 billion, five years ago. Nalsing Gadh is important as it can produce electricity round the year.

    Other attractive factors for the project include the low number of households needing to be displaced, stable river flow, less land acquisition and deforestation.

    Tasks like construction of vital infra around the reservoir and embankment have already been concluded.

    The Rs100-billion project will displace 588 households and acquire 300 hectares of cultivable land and 300 hectares of forest area.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post