Government bodies themselves have ignored Energy Emergency by obstructing construction of transmission line for Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project.
Transmission line could not be taken through the forest with the Department of Forests and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation both under the Ministry of Forests refusing to give permission. The government had recently brought a 10-year Energy Crisis Management Action Plan to guide the country toward prosperity by generating 10000 MW within 10 years.
The 456-MW national pride project has been seeking permission from the two departments to take the transmission line through Gaurishankar Conservation Area for the past two years but to no avail. “What must be the state of other projects when even a national pride project developed with government investment is facing such problems?” a project official asked.
The cabinet meeting on January 5 had given permission to cut trees only after management of land. The project has been arguing that the condition cannot be fulfilled as making land arrangements first would result in delay. Erection of 55 transmission towers has been stopped due to the provision of a government-developed project having to make land arrangements for use of government land. Project spokesperson and chief of the Environment Department Dr Ganesh Neupane said the project cannot be constructed in time due to such conditions of the Department of Forests. “The project is fed up of different procedural hassles despite the government taking different reasons to alleviate energy crisis,” he added.
The project will have to procure 37 ropanis of private land and transfer ownership of that to the government as per the condition of the ministry. He argued that construction of transmission line will be delayed by a year if the procurement process for land is started now. The electricity generated by the project can go in waste if the transmission line is not completed even when the project starts generation.
Indian company KEC International has been constructing the 220 kV transmission line under the lot 4 of the project. It is currently working in the 47-kilometer stretch from Gongar to Khimti apart from the forest area. Spokesperson Neupane said construction of the transmission line will gather pace if the departments were to grant permission. “We have been making rounds of the departments and the ministry. We hope that the cabinet will take a sensible decision even by amending the previous decision of the ministry,” he stated.
A total of 127 towers have to be erected from Gongar to Khimi and 55 of them have to be erected in forest area. A total of 24 towers have been erected until now while rest are being erected. He revealed that a total of 4,230 trees will have to be cut to erect them. Construction of transmission line continues even as other works of the project have yet to be resumed at full capacity after the earthquake on April 25 and Indian blockade. KEC and the project have signed agreement to complete the transmission line by June, 2016.
Source : Karobar Daily