Above 95 pc arrears in energy and irrigation sectors settled: Energy Ministry

Published On: August 3, 2020 09:25 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

73.26 percent financial progress and 75.3 percent physical progress achieved in  energy related projects

KATHMANDU, Aug 3: About 99.99 percent of arrears in the energy sector and 95.59 percent arrears in irrigation sectors have been settled in the fiscal year 2019/20, said the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation. 

Of the total Rs 1.3982 billion outstanding dues in the energy sector, Rs 1.3980 billion has been settled. Similarly, Rs 9.5 million of the total Rs 9.9 million outstanding dues in the water resources and irrigation sector has been settled, according to the ministry.

The ministry claimed that it has recorded 73.26 percent financial progress and 75.3 percent physical progress in  energy related projects, while the financial and physical progress in the water resources and irrigation sector is 71.67 percent and 71.79 percent, respectively.

Out of the total 23 projects of national pride of the Government of Nepal, the ministry alone has been leading 8 national pride projects.

Construction works of the national pride projects under the ministry is continuing despite the risk of outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent decision of the government to enforce nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

The 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project has achieved 99.73 percent physical and 98.68 percent financial progress. Of the Rs 1 billion budget allocated for the project in the last fiscal year, it has mobilized 100 percent of the budget. 

Of the remaining work, 62 (311 m) upper and 74 lower penstock shaft (373 m) connections have been installed so far, according to the ministry. Out of a total of 20 (100 meters) horizontal penstocks, 5 have been connected so far.

Of the 58,439 ropani of inundated area due to the Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project, compensation for 47,439 ropani land has been distributed out of 58,153 ropanis. The project has distributed a total of Rs. 33.80 billion as compensation to the affected people, the ministry further said.

Energy Minister Barshaman Pun said the progress even in the face of COVID-19 outbreak in the country is a good thing. “The projects under the ministry stand in a good light and if the pandemic had not existed, the progress could have been much better,” he said.

Another pride project Bheri-Babai Multipurpose Project has also completed the construction of a 12.2 kilometer-long tunnel. Civil construction work of the dam and powerhouse was carried out even during the lockdown. Similarly, the headworks as well as 76.20 kilometers main and 191.33kilometers branch canals and the reconstruction of 17.92 kilometers of canal damaged by the flood of Babai Irrigation Project have been completed.

The modernization works of the intake and feeder canal of Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Project has been completed. Likewise, the structure construction of the main canal has achieved 95 percent progress, 90 percent progress in construction of infrastructure, 70 percent construction of hydropower and 75 percent works related to the protection of irrigated areas has been completed.

The construction of a dam and 45-kilometer long west main canal of Sikta Irrigation Project has been completed. The completion of construction of Sidhanaya branch of the western main canal is close to completion and the eastern main canal has recorded 50 percent progress. The project will irrigate 7,000 hectares of land. 

Similarly, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study report of Sunkoshi-Marine Diversion Project has been approved. Land acquisition work has been completed for the construction of necessary structures including powerhouse. The cost estimate and purchase documents likewise have been prepared for the construction of the tunnel and the detailed design work of the structure including powerhouse is currently in progress.

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