The prime minister is scheduled to inaugurate the field of Budhi Gandaki project

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After waiting for a long time, the government has taken forward the necessary process for the construction of Budhigandaki hydropower project. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda will inaugurate the field office of the project on Wednesday.

Jagat Shrestha, the chief executive officer of Budhigandaki Jalvidyut Company, informed that the field office of the project in Siurenitar, Gorkha, where the environmental compensation distribution, rehabilitation and restoration unit of the project is located, will be inaugurated tomorrow. He said that the necessary preparations for that have been completed. Local representatives and stakeholders of Dhading and Gorkha have been invited to the program to be held on Wednesday.

The government has already established BudhiGandaki Hydropower Company for the construction of the project with a total capacity of 1,200 megawatts. The head office of the company in Kathmandu has been inaugurated by Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet on June 31.

Chief Executive Officer Shrestha said, “It is going to send a message that the project of national pride has started. It conveys a positive message in general and creates an atmosphere of trust.” The government has so far distributed compensation worth Rs 34.3 billion to the project affected people. Likewise, compensation worth 6.7 billion rupees has already been distributed towards houses and plants. Currently, the work of distributing the compensation has reached the final stage.

Those affected by the project have been demanding the formation of a competent authority. Similarly, they also demand that the work of compensation distribution should be completed quickly and other administrative work should be speeded up.

Chief Executive Officer Shrestha says that the government will address the legitimate demands raised by the local residents. He said that the demands of local residents will be addressed and necessary decisions will be made for the sustainability of the project.

Prime Minister Prachanda has been interested in advancing the project. It is also mentioned in the budget of the current financial year that the construction of the project will be started. Prime Minister Prachanda has been saying that the construction of the project will start soon in the meeting of the House of Representatives and other public events. People’s representatives and local residents of Dhading and Gorkha have also been demanding to start the project as soon as possible.

The government has been saying that it will start the construction of the project by mobilizing internal resources. For the project, tax has been collected on petroleum products at the customs point. A few days ago, in the meeting of the National Assembly, Finance Minister Dr. Prakasharan Mahat informed that the amount raised through infrastructure tax was spent on compensation distribution and other works. 

The government has converted the Environment Compensation Distribution, Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Unit into a company through the current year’s budget. On June 28 last year, Shrestha, the head of the unit, was appointed as the chief executive officer of the company. The office of the company will be established in Siurenitar, Gandaki Rural Municipality-8 of Gorkha, where the office of the unit is located.

About 50,000 people of Dhading and Gorkha will be affected by the project. The detailed project report (DPR) of the project has already been prepared by the French company Tactbell in 2014. Chief Executive Officer Shrestha said that the confidence that the project will be built after a long wait has increased and the local residents will also support positively.

A total of 263 meters high dam will be constructed in the project. A total length of 45 meters lake will be formed from it. The dam will be constructed two kilometers north of Benighat in Dhading. The project is considered to be important in itself, near the “load centers” such as Kathmandu, Pokhara, Narayangadh, where there is a high demand for electricity.

Due to the delay in taking necessary decisions for domestic or foreign investment, the process has not progressed. The government established a company with an official capital of 60 billion rupees for the construction of projects considered important for Nepal’s energy security.

On the instructions of Prime Minister Prachanda, a team including Executive Director of Nepal Electricity Authority Kulman Ghising inspected the project site a few days ago. Authority will have more shares in the company. Shrestha said that the study committee is working for that and necessary decisions will be taken.

Source: Online khabar