NEA-ministry blame game delaying hydropower projects

    KATHMANDU, Dec 14: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has said unnecessary hassles of Ministry of Energy were holding back hydropower development in the country.

    Instead of facilitating hydropower development, the ministry has been creating hassles, a senior official of the power utility said at a parliamentary committee meeting on Sunday. Mukesh Raj Kafle, executive director of NEA, alleged that the ministry has imposed a blockade on NEA for the past three months. Speaking at the meeting of Agriculture and Water Resources Committee of the legislature-parliament, he said work on most of the hydropower projects have not resumed after the earthquake.

    Most of the under-construction hydropower projects have been stalled after the devastating earthquakes of April 25 and May 12. “NEA could not facilitate resumption of construction works stalled since the April earthquake,” he told the committee.

    Construction work of Upper Trishuli 3A has been stalled after the earthquake damaged the access road to the project site, Kafle said, adding that the ministry was not cooperating to open the access road. Some five-kilometer stretch of access road of Upper Trishuli 3A has been damaged by the quake. It takes at least two years to complete it, according to Kafle.

    Likewise, most of the other hydropower projects started by NEA have been affected due to the fuel shortage. Chameliya, Upper Trishuli A, Kulekhani III and Rahughat have been hit hard by fuel shortage and the earthquake.

    NEA is planning to announce new bidding to resume Rahughat hydropower after the previous contractor left midway without completing the project.

    Speaking at the meeting, Samir Ratna Shakya, officiating secretary of energy ministry, said that the ministry has already released a total of Rs 1.32 billion to reconstruct structures damaged by the earthquake.

    Source :Republica