Construction works likely to resume soon
- PRAKASH ADHIKARI, SHANTI BAZAAR (NUWAKOT)
Feb 4, 2016- The construction of the 60 MW Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower Project is expected to resume soon with the Nepal Army (NA) starting to clear landslide debris and open a new track linking the powerhouse and the headworks. The project contractor was supposed to improve the road; but after it was completely destroyed by the April 25 earthquake, differences had emerged over who should repair it.
The NA has taken over the responsibility of repairing the 5-km road to allow the construction work to resume at the project as the country has been crippled by extended load-shedding.
The contractor China Gezhouba Water and Power (Group) had been stalling resuming work at the project for the last nine months due to the damaged road. Five workers have been drilling dynamite holes in the rocks, and NA personnel have been using explosives to clear the debris. Around 11 NA personnel are engaged in the task. The army will reconstruct the 4-metre-wide road. Considering the hardship the country was going through because of the power crisis, the government had instructed the army to remove the landslide debris so that work could be resumed at the project.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) had been requesting the government to expedite moves to clear the landslide debris. The project is being constructed with a Chinese loan assistance.
The landslide had deposited large rocks on the road from Simle to the project’s headworks. The road is part of the Betrawoti-Mailung Road. Site in-charge of the Upper Trishuli 3A project Amkesh Kumar Jha said that the construction work would restart once the army had finished clearing the landslide debris. According to him, the army is expected to finish the task within the next two months. Moreover, after the landslide debris has been removed from the road to the Trishuli 3A project, it will also help to bring the closed 5 MW Mailung Hydropower Project back into operation. Likewise, work can be started at the 216 MW Trishuli 1 project which is being developed with South Korean assistance, said Jha. Although civil works have been halted due to the quake, the construction of a transmission line has already started. The task of clearing the forest to erect a transmission line from the project site to Matatirtha, Kathmandu has already begun, and 94 trees have been cut down in Kathmandu, Dhading and Nuwakot. It is estimated that 18,729 trees will need to be cut down in 26 community forests. Assistant Director of the project Narayan Acharya said that trees were being cut down in 13 of the 15 community forests that lie on the path of the transmission line. He added that 10,758 trees would be felled. Forest clearing has not begun in Tupche and Manakamana village development committees while it is being down in seven out of the 10 community forests in Kathmandu, according to Acharya. Locals have objected to the cutting of trees in some community forests, he said.