May 22, 2017-
The much-touted Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project is all set to sell 10 percent of its stake to the locals of the project-affected Dolakha district.
If things go as planned, the 456MW hydropower project will sell shares worth over Rs1.05 billion to the locals of Dolakha district after the new fiscal year begins in mid-July.
Initially, the hydropower project was planning to sell shares to locals of the district within this fiscal year.
“But we had to postpone it due to local elections,” said Bigyan Raj Shrestha, chief of Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project. “As the district recently got elected representatives, it will be a lot easier for us to prepare the work plan for share allocation.”
The District Coordination Committee (DCC) of Dolakha, according to Shrestha, is entitled to develop the modality for distribution of the shares to the locals.
The office of the DCC will soon be assumed by recently elected people’s representatives.
“Therefore, we are likely to sell the stakes allotted to locals once the new fiscal year begins,” said Shrestha.
Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project is considered as a strategic project to end the acute shortage of electricity in the country. It is expected to generate electricity by July 2018.
The project located in the central-north part of the country is being built using domestic financial resources.
Around 88 percent of the construction work of the project has been completed till date, according to Shrestha.
The national-pride project was originally scheduled to be completed in mid-July 2016, but the earthquakes, Indian trade blockade and various technical and social issues pushed back the completion date.
As per the revised schedule, the first unit of the hydropower plant will start electricity generation in July 2018 whereas the remaining units will start generation by December 2018.
Lately, the project has been working to build the remaining 1,200-metre portion of its head-works tunnel.
The latest report shows that 85 percent of the work has been completed. The project has also completed construction of the powerhouse and transformer cavern.
The concreting work on these structures is at the final stage, as per the project report. The 2015 earthquake damaged the 337-metre road linking the project’s dam site.
After the tunnel was rebuilt, work at the dam site moved ahead at a faster speed.
Prior to the earthquake, the project had completed 79 percent of civil works. The project faced cost overruns due to delays, Shrestha said.
The project is now expected to cost Rs42 billion, up from the previous estimate of Rs35.29 billion.
Source: The Kathmandu Post