12 years on, Darkhe Khola hydro project still incomplete
February 16, 2020 11:06 AM NPT
By: Suman Malla
MUGU, Feb 16: Darkhe Khola Laghu Hydropower Project of Chhayanath Rara Municipality-14 still awaits completion twelve years since construction began for the project. In 2007, Darkhe Khola Laghu Hydropower Project with 19-kilowatt capacity began construction for the residents of three villages of Chhayanath Rara Municipality-14 with the help of the District Energy Department but the work stopped in the final stages of the project due to lack of funding.
According to Chankha Baduwal, chairperson of Darkhe Khola Laghu Hydropower Project Consumers Committee, under the Development Committee Office of Sabik district, the District Energy Department had asked the locals to provide funds for the project and help in the construction work as well. The construction of the project was halted as the locals could not collect Rs 2.92 million to fund their share of the cost of the project.
With the help of residents of Chhayanath Rara Municipality, various institutions and the energy department were able to provide funds worth Rs 9.5 million but the work has not been completed so far.
According to the local residents, 95% of the construction work has been completed but lack of interest from concerned agencies and stakeholders are to be blamed for not carrying out the pending work.
According to Nanda Lal Baduwal, chairperson of Chhayanath Rara Municipality-14, the power house is in a sorry state and the machines have rusted while poles are scattered around the construction site. Baduwal is optimistic that the project will soon be completed as the technicians from the Alternative Energy Office, Kathmandu had recently visited the site for inspection. The technicians had informed the local residents that if the electricity cannot be produced from the site then they will distribute 200-kilowatt solar energy.
“We had thought that the production of electricity will keep us far from darkness but I have little hope that we will have electricity in our house,” said Kanna Bire Baduwal, a 65-year-old local resident of Chhayanath Rara Municipality. 300 households are still waiting for electricity for more than a decade.