Jan 7, 2016- The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has pushed back the deadline for the completion of the Kabeli Corridor Transmission Line Project till April 2017. According to the original plan, the power lines would have been installed by now.
The project consists of building a 90-km-long transmission line extending from Damak, Jhapa to Amarpur, Panchthar in eastern Nepal. So far, only a 34-km section from Damak to Godak, Ilam has been completed.
A total of 92 towers and a substation have been established. The 22 MW Sanima Mai, 6.2 MW Puwa Khola and 4.5 MW Sana Mai Khola hydropower projects have been connected to the high-tension power line.
The 132 kV transmission line project was launched in the fiscal year 2007-08. It has a capacity to transmit 150 MW of electricity.
The project has been plagued by problems related to right of way, poor performance by contractors and lack of coordination among government agencies resulting in interminable delays.
The contractor for the construction project, a joint venture of Jaguar Overseas and Aster JV, has stopped work for the last four months complaining that the project cannot proceed unless the time limit is extended.
“As the deadline has now been extended, the construction work will resume at a fast pace,” said Dipendra Kumar Dwibedi, chief of the project. “Work stopped as the agreement with the contractor had expired and the project was low on fuel.”
The project said that work on the second section from Soyak to Phidim and the third section from Phidim to Amarpur would begin simultaneously. The first section, which is relatively shorter, took seven years to complete. Stakeholders are concerned that the remaining portion could take longer.
If the project suffers time overruns, hydro projects
currently under construction like the 15 MW Hewa Khola in Panchthar and the 6 MW Phawa Khola in Taplejung, which expect to be
connected to the power line, will be in a fix.
“We have targeted to complete our project by mid-April, but our efforts will go in vain if the transmission line is not completed before that time,” said Puspa Jyoti Dhungana, managing director of the Hewa Khola Project. “If we cannot evacuate the power generated through the transmission line, we will face losses of Rs150 million annually.”
The project needs to erect another 65 towers. Rarpati Kumar, an official of Aster, said they were determined to complete the project within the extended deadline. According to him, Aster will complete 70 percent of the work while Jaguar Overseas will do the rest. The project claimed that since substations had been established in Phidim and Amarpur, the construction work wouldn’t take much time.
Source : eKantipur