LAMJUNG, NOV 04 –
Construction work on the Upper Marsyangdi A Hydropower Project in Lamjung resumed on Saturday after it reached an agreement with the local residents that precautionary measures would be adopted when conducting explosions and drilling work.
The project also agreed to take responsibility for any kind of damage caused to the environment during the construction.
The 45 MW run-of-the-river project being implemented by China’s Sino Hydro and its Nepali partner Sagarmatha Power Company had been stalled since Thursday after explosions carried out during the tunnel drilling process caused damage to houses particularly at Bhulbhule VDC.
The locals had several times complained about the problem to the project but it turned a deaf ear, said Saroj Gurung, a local resident of Bhulbhule. “We were compelled to obstruct the work as the project did not pay attention to the problems.”
He said that around 60 houses in Bhulbhule, Tanglichowk, Naya Gaun and Ustabeshi had bee severely affected by the explosions. Locals have also complained that the blasts and noise pollution had affected their health.
The project and the locals reached an agreement that henceforth explosions would be carried out in the presence of police personnel.
Presently, 2 km of the tunnel has been constructed. The Rs 10 billion project is scheduled to start production by October 2016. It has signed a power purchase agreement with the Nepal Electricity Authority for 6.95 cents per unit.
Last July, the project halted construction work citing security reasons after locals vandalized its vehicles. Locals had damaged a number of automobiles after a small girl drowned in a stream, stating that it was the project’s responsibility to ensure safety and that it had failed to build a bridge.