Sunkoshi-Marin Tunnel Achieves Breakthrough a Year Early

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KATHMANDU, May 8: The Sunkoshi-Marin Diversion Multipurpose Project tunnel has achieved a breakthrough. The breakthrough was celebrated in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Sunkoshi Rural Municipality-7, Kandhungri.

During the event, PM Dahal initiated the breakthrough by pressing the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) switch. The TBM which had commenced its journey from Kamalamai Municipality-2, Kusumtar, the project’s entrance, emerged from Kandhungri on the banks of the Sunkoshi river. The tunnel, spanning from Kamalamai-2 Kusumtar to Sunkoshi-7 Kandhungri, measures 13.3 kilometers.

Mitra Baral, head of the Sunkoshi-Marin Diversion Multi-Purpose Project, said that the tunnel breakthrough was achieved one year ahead of schedule. The tunnel was successfully completed in 19 months, with an impressive daily progress of 72 meters. Baral said that tunnel excavation commenced on October 14, 2022 with six brief interruptions during the process, mainly due to dry landslides hindering the TBM’s progress.

The project features a high-quality 5.5-meter diameter tunnel, with plans for constructing a 30-meter high and 158-meter long dam on the Sunkoshi river in Kandhungri. Water will be directed through the tunnel into the Marin River in Kusumtar, facilitating the generation of 31.07 megawatts of electricity from a 66-meter water drop.

The construction contract for the tunnel was awarded to the Chinese company China Overseas Engineering Group Co Ltd (COVEC), known for its previous tunnel construction work in the Bheri-Babai Diversion project. Baral said that COVEC undertook the contract for an undisclosed sum. Project head Baral said that COVEC took the contract for Rs 10.568 billion only to dig tunnels in the project site.

With the damming of the river, efforts are underway to provide year-round irrigation and electricity to five districts of Madhesh. The project’s primary objective is to enhance irrigation facilities in Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, and Dhanusha in the Terai region, alongside electricity generation. The total project cost is estimated at Rs 49.42 billion.

 

 

 

 

 

Source : Republica