BUTWAL, Sept 12: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is considering alternate routes for the 132 KV Butwal-Mainahiya transmission line project as the Department of Roads (DoR) rejected the Yogikoti-Kotihawa road section of Siddhartha Highway for building the transmission line.
The NEA had proposed three options for the transmission line: via Yogikoti-Kotahawa Lakhanchowk, from Yogikoti toward the eastern banks of Tinau River, and via the western part of Tinau River.
With the DoR’s rejection of the first option, the NEA is considering to build the transmission line on the second or third route.
The transmission line project has been designed targeting electricity supply in Rupandehi district.
“We tried our best to find a less risky area for the transmission line, but it could not happen. So we have forwarded the options of Tinau River area,” said Hari Pandey, chief of Butwal-Lumbini 132 KVA transmission line project.
The NEA has decided to build Mainahiya sub-station to end the electricity problem of Rupandehi. As land prices have increased, it is difficult to acquire private land for transmission line. So, the NEA had requested the DoR for the permission to use the Yogikoti-Kotihawa road section.
Pandey said the preparation for contractor selection is underway. The project has already sent an estimate to the NEA for further processing on the transmission line.
“By the mid-October we will call for a tender,” said Project Chief Pandey.
Bhairahawa and Lumbini areas of Rupandehi district been facing electricity problem due to lack of sub-station and transmission lines according to electricity load. Even the industries of Lumbini corridor do not get electricity supply as per their demand.
“Lack of coordination among government bodies has delayed the work,” Pandey said: “It won’t happen now.”
According to Pandey, the distance of Yogikuti-Kotihawa road section to Mainahiya is 19 kilometers. The work could have been completed sooner with less investment along this route. The NEA had estimated to spend approximately Rs 800 million for this route. He said the investment will increase if the project has to go for other routes.
“Both east and west banks of Tinau River are risky for transmission line but we don’t have any other choice,” Pandey said, “These are not feasible for transmission line as there is risk of weak geological structure and flooding.”
The NEA officials are concerned about a dense settlement that is just 100 meters away from the eastern part of the riverbank. In the western area there is Motipur industrial corridor, for which 800 bighas of land have already been acquired in the name of Industrial Management Limited to develop the proposed model industrial area of Province 5.
The NEA has already issued a tender notice of Rs 400 million for purchasing four bighas of land for Mainahiya sub-station and staff quarters. NEA had estimated a timeframe of two years for completion of the project via the highway, but now NEA estimates the project will take at least one more year. Though the project was started in 2010 it was halted due to several reasons in the past.