Work on the 140MW Tanahu Hydropower Project has gathered momentum after a dispute over the project’s consultant was resolved.

    “Construction of infrastructure, except for the main tunnel and power house, is moving ahead smoothly,” said Bidur Adhikari, site in-charge of the project. “It is necessary to develop storage-type projects to end load-shedding throughout the year.”

    An 87m motorable bridge has been constructed over the Seti River to carry out initial works. Contractor Rasuwa Construction built the bridge with an investment of Rs110 million.

    Contract to build an access road from Chapaghat, Damauli to dam site and powerhouse has also been awarded. A 4km black-topped and 2km gravelled road will be constructed for the purpose.

    Sima and Brothers Kashyap JV has bagged the contract of constructing the road from Chapaghat to Seti bridge, while Ashish Machhapuchhre Parajuli JV has taken the responsibility of constructing the road from Seti bridge to powerhouse through Jhaputar.

    Auxiliary works are being carried out at full speed so that the contractor could start works right after being appointed, said Adhikari.

    Asian Development Bank, Japan International Development Agency, European Investment Bank and Nepal government are investing in the project that is estimated to cost Rs54.25 billion. The initial decision of then Energy Minister Radha Gyawali to scrap the consultant appointment process had raised question over the future of the project.

    After nearly a year-long row over the issue, a Prime Minister-level intervention ensured the consultant—the joint venture between Germany’s Lahmeyer International and Canada’s Manitoba Hydro—could work.

    Tanahun Hydropower Limited, the developer of project, aims at completing the project within the next five years.

    As per the preparatory works, the project has distributed compensation for 150 ropanies of land acquired at the dam site and entry gate area. Compensation payment for land to be inundated by the dam will be started this fiscal year, according to the project. The project is expected to inundate 18km from Kahun Shivapur to Bhimad.

    Locals have expressed happiness about the project. “We are hopeful it would boost businesses here,” said Keshav Bahadur Thapa from Kahun Shivapur.

    The locals have been given training for carrying out income generating activities such as fishery.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post