Energy Minister Basnet instructs NEA Managing Director Ghising to expedite Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa transmission line construction

Published On: November 21, 2023 08:45 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 21: Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Shakti Bahadur Basnet has expressed concern about the progress being made in the construction of the transmission line.

He directed the Managing Director of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Kulman Ghising to complete the construction immediately by making the necessary coordination. Ghising was instructed to take the help of local security personnel and work together with the administration.

The completion of the Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa 400 KV double-circuit transmission line project is facing delays due to ongoing obstacles, hindering the strengthening of the electricity transmission system within Nepal and facilitating electricity trade between Nepal and India.

The project, which started construction almost nine years ago, is yet to be completed due to the obstacles in the project.

According to Ghising, Managing Director (NEA), a budget equal to Rs 5 billion is needed only for the distribution of compensation for the land under the transmission line. Similarly, construction professionals need an additional budget of Rs 5 billion.

Based on this, he said that an additional budget of Rs 10 billion is required for the project.

Since the transmission line will be 46 meters, a large budget is required for compensation. Problems have arisen in speeding up the project due to obstacles.

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 them have not been meaningful,”” Ghising said, "In Saptari and Siraha, even the Survey Office and Land Revenue Office have not provided the necessary facilitation, so more problems have arisen."

The transmission line starts from Hetauda sub-metropolitan city-11 Thanabhayang substation of Makwanpur and connects to Bhokraha Narsingh rural municipality-4 of Sunsari and passes through 10 districts. The transmission line, stretching from Hetauda to Bhokraha Narsingh, has been hindered by local demands for a change in the route, procedural confusion in forest land use, and delays in tree felling approvals, poor performance of the contractor, etc.

The efforts made by the NEA to open the local barriers are also not succeeding.

Since the construction of the transmission line of strategic importance could not be completed, the power of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project of 456 MW could not be sent to the west from the Dhalkebar substation in Dhanusha due to lack of line capacity. Now there is only a 132 kV transmission line from Dhalkebar to the west.

A total of 792 towers should be constructed for the 288 km transmission line in Pahari, Shivalik Chure and Terai region. Out of this, 757 foundations have been laid and 750 have been erected. The rest of the towers could not be constructed due to the delay in approval of tree felling and the obstruction by the locals. After all the towers are erected, the contractor company will start pulling the wires.

Hetauda sub-metropolitan city- 15, 16 and 17 positions, the construction of 14 towers on private land has not been started due to the obstruction by Hatia area residents.

The locals are demanding to change the route of the transmission line, they have not allowed the construction of the tower located in the community forest, and they are demanding to move the two towers that have been built. They have demanded that the transmission line be taken through the human settlement and not 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 Ghising.

Locals have also obstructed the construction of transmission lines in Jiyajor 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 (ROW) area of the transmission line will be 23/23 meters 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 electricity trade between Nepal and India will be facilitated.


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