Kathmandu, Nov 18: For the strengthening of the electricity transmission system within the country and the construction of the Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa 400 KV double circuit transmission line project, which is under construction for the electricity trade between Nepal and India, there are still obstacles. The project, which started construction almost nine years ago, is marred by obstacles.
According to Kulman Ghising, the Executive Director of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), a budget of five billion rupees is needed only for the distribution of compensation for the land under the transmission line. Similarly, the construction industry needs an additional budget of five billion rupees.
Based on this, he informed that an additional budget of Rs. 10 billion is required for the project. Since the right and left of the transmission line will be 46 meters, a large budget is required for compensation.
The NEA is bound to complete the construction of the transmission line project within the next four months. “There is a problem everywhere, even the efforts made to solve it have not been meaningful”, said Executive Director Ghising, “In Saptari and Siraha, even the surveyors and land offices have not provided the necessary facilitation.”
The transmission line starts from Hetauda sub-metropolitan city-11 Thanabhangyang sub-station of Makawanpur and connects to Bhokraha Narsingh rural municipality-4 of Sunsari. It passes through 10 districts. The construction has been delayed due to the obstruction of the locals demanding the change of the route of the transmission line, the procedural confusion of forest area land use and approval of tree felling, poor performance of the contractor, etc.
Since the construction of the transmission line of strategic importance could not be completed, the electricity of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project of 456 MW could not be sent to the west from the Dhalkebar sub-station in Dhanusha. Now there is only 132 kV transmission line from Dhalkebar to the west.
A total of 792 towers should be built for the 288 km transmission line in hilly, Shivalik Chure and Terai region. Out of this, 757 foundations have been laid and 750 have been erected. The rest of the towers have not been constructed due to the delay in the approval of tree felling and the obstruction of the locals. After erecting all the towers, the contractor company will start pulling the wires.
Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet has expressed his concern about the progress being made in the construction of the transmission line. He directed the executive director of the authority, Ghising, to complete the construction immediately by making the necessary coordination. He instructed to take the help of local security personnel and work together with the administration.
The locals are demanding to change the route of the transmission line, they have not even allowed the construction of the tower located in the community forest, but they are demanding to move the two towers that have been built. They have demanded that the transmission line should be taken from the human settlement through the forest. The project has been making it clear that the route cannot be changed now that all the processes have been completed and designed.
“Since the electricity from Upper Tamakoshi cannot be brought from Dhalkebar to the west, there is a compelling situation that it has to be wasted. To end this situation, this line should be constructed as soon as possible”, said Executive Director Ghising.
Locals have also obstructed the construction of transmission lines in Jiyazor of Lalbandi Municipality of Sarlahi and Lahan Padaria area of Siraha. The Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa 400kV transmission line is close to and mostly parallel to the existing 132kV transmission line and the East-West highway. The right-of-way area of the transmission line will be 23/23 meters right and left from the center point of the transmission line. After the construction of the transmission line, it is expected that the transmission system within the country will be strengthened and the electricity trade between Nepal and India will be facilitated.