Tower Turmoil: Locals Protest Ratodhunga Substation, Call for Tower Relocation

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Myagdi (Beni), Feb. 4:The testing of the substation and transmission line constructed in Malika Rural Municipality-6, Ratodhunga, aimed at expanding the central transmission line in the western part of Myagdi, faced operational challenges due to residents’ obstruction despite the positive outcomes of the tests. Following the testing, it is anticipated that the central transmission line’s supply and expansion will soon reach settlements in Mangala, Malika, and Dhavalagiri Rural Municipality of the district. This achievement comes after a six-year delay in the construction of the transmission line and substation.

Jaljala Rural Municipality-4 in Parbat has completed a 22 km-long transmission line connecting Malika Ratodhunga from Mohanchowk and a 33-11 KV capacity substation at Ratodhunga. Paddha Sagar Luitel, the representative of the construction company A to Z Engineering, confirmed the success of the transmission line and substation testing under the supervision of the Nepal Electricity Authority’s technical team. However, complications arose in charging and operating the substation due to objections from local landowners.

According to Luitel, landowners near the Ratodhunga substation demanded the relocation of five towers of the 33-11 KV transmission line. They refused to allow connections to the 11 KV distribution line leading to Tatopani and Darwang.

Beg Prasad Garbuja, Chairman of Malika Rural Municipality, assured that discussions amid the project management, builders, and affected landowners are underway to address the demands of the locals. Following the relocation of five towers to a suitable location, the substation will be charged and made operational.

The substation and transmission line, contracted by A to Z Engineering through the Nepal Electricity Authority in 2016, were originally scheduled for completion by December 2018. However, the project faced delays in land acquisition, followed by builder’s negligence, and obstruction by landowners in pole erection and wire pulling.

Resham Bahadur Jugjaali, Minister of Physical Infrastructure Development and Transport Management of the Gandaki Province, intervened, coordinating with the Ministry of Energy and the Nepal Electricity Authority to resume the work.

The extended delay in completing the substation and transmission line, which should have concluded four years ago, impacted the expansion of the central transmission line and power supply in Mangala, Malika, and Dhavalagiri Rural Municipality in the western region of Myagdi. Pratap Baral, Head of the Myagdi Distribution Centre at the Nepal Electricity Authority, expressed optimism that the operation of the Ratodhunga substation and transmission line would facilitate the expansion of power supply in the western region.

 

Source: The Rising Nepal