January 23, 2019 10:03 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Jan 23: Division Forest Office (DFO), Rasuwa, has instructed Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to stop transmission line construction work in forest areas of the district.
Kulman Ghising, managing director of NEA, said that officials of the Division Forest Office, Rasuwa, have stopped works to lay foundation stone for Rasuwa-Trishuli 220 kV transmission line. “They have asked us to stop works on even bare hills which fall under their jurisdiction,” he added.
If the transmission line is not built on time, a total of 167.3 MW of hydropower generated by Rasuwagadhi (110MW), Sanjen (45.2 MW) and Upper Sanjen (14.8 MW) projects – the subsidiaries of Chilime Hydropower Company – will go to waste. NEA will have to pay compensation to these projects if it fails to evacuate energy generated by these projects.
After realizing that there will be delay in getting go-ahead to clear forests from authorities concerned, NEA had decided to start works from barren areas of Ghaledarbar between Gatlang and Grebich.
Kedar Siwal, chief of the transmission line project, said that all works had to be stopped after Shova Subedi, chief of Division Forest Office, warned the project officials to stop work or face consequences until a decision is made on the use of land for the purpose. “If work in geographically-difficult areas is stopped now, it will be difficult for us to meet the construction deadline,” he added.
The project submitted a proposal to the cabinet to cut down around 4,000 trees in 41 hectares of forest areas for the transmission line about a week ago. It will take around two months to get the go-ahead to clear forest area for the transmission line.
The project is estimated to cost US$ 35 million. German Development Bank (KfW) and European Investment Bank are financing the project.