KATHMANDU, April 18: The Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation has planned to start the construction of Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project from the next fiscal year, despite uncertainty from the selected contractor to start the work.
Speaking at a parliamentary Finance Committee meeting on Sunday, Energy Secretary Dinesh Kumar Ghimire said the ministry has sent a proposal to the government to keep in priority the construction works of the project in the upcoming budget. “We have fairly completed the process of land acquisition and distribution of the land compensation to the project-hit people,” Ghimire said.
The government is looking forward to generating 1,200 MW from the storage type project to be built in the Budhi Gandaki River located at the borders of Gorkha and Dhading districts. For this purpose, the national pride project envisages constructing a 45 kilometers long lake by building a 263 meters tall dam leaving around 50,000 people affected by the project construction. The project will submerge 45 kilometres of the Budhi Gandaki and another 22 kilometres of the valley of Aankhu Khola.
As of now, the government has distributed around Rs 36 billion to acquire 58,000 ropanies of land. The government has collected around Rs 50 billion from infrastructure development tax levied on petroleum products.
The government in September 2018 awarded the contract of the project construction to China Gezhouba Group Corporation without taking it to a bidding process. However, the company is not showing much interest in the project following a controversy, according to ministry officials.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs 250 billion.