KATHMANDU, Jan 13: A task force has been formed to solve the problems facing the Koshi corridor transmission line project in Dharan area.
According to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), a task force has been formed under the coordination of Chief District Officer of Sunsari, Prem Prakash Uprety. It will submit the report to the Chief Minister of Province1, Sherdhan Rai, within a week.
The members of the task force include project chief, engineer at Dharan Sub Metropolis, stakeholders committee, contractor company, consultant company, and the representatives of the political parties at local level.
Dharan Sub Metropolis has argued that the transmission line will negatively affect the tourist places set up Ward No 20 where the problems on the transmission are surfaced.
Ward 20 urged the NEA in written to bypass the line. As a result, the construction work has been halted.
The NEA, however, has said the issues raised by Ward 20 are not serious, because the transmission line would not affect these. As most of the process is over, the construction way could not be diverted.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Rai has stressed that the Khosi corridor transmission line needs timely accomplishment because Province 1 was planning to bring investment in hydropower.
However, Acting Mayor of Dharan Sub Metropolis Manju Bhandari viewed that they were neither for thwarting the transmission line nor against development.
The NEA has proposed to set up the transmission line via Bhedetar-Chhoti, Morang-Sardu, Jaladhar area-Tamakham-Salbote-Chinde, and Danda-Bhyangjyan-Gorkha Memorial Park-Jalkanya Community Forest.
But, the Sub Metropolis wants to have the line via Bhedetar-Chulikot (Ghumaunedanda) to Khaire-Kokaha river-Bhaludhunga.
Similarly, the decision to set up seven towers in the Koshi river for Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa 400 KV transmission line has been protested.
The towers need to be set up by digging 40 meters in the river for the project. There is no alternative to expanding the line through the river, as changing the route involves technical difficulties, said NEA Executive Director Kulman Ghising.
“The issues raised by the Sub Metropolis do not clash with the expansion of the line. The effect of changing the route will befall the development of the whole country,” he said.
He said that the NEA was ready to discuss ways of providing social security to the affected while calling for not entering the technical issue of the route change.
The NEA has signed the power purchase agreement with 28 private hydropower projects with the total 516 megawatts capacity so as to connect it to the transmission line.
Under the first part of the corridor project, construction of 220 KV double circuit line is underway along the 105 kilometers Inaruwa-Basantapur-Baneshwor-Tumlingtar. The project cost is estimated to be USD 37 million.
Under this section, construction of a 220 KV substation is ongoing along the Inaruwa-Basantapur-Baneshwor-Tumlingtar with the target of completion by February 2020. The project costs estimated UDS 25 million.
And under the third part, construction of the transmission line has started along the 33 kilometers Basantapur-Dhungesanghu (Taplejung district) with the December 2020 completion target. Its estimated cost is USD 22 million.