RASUWA, April 14: The nationwide lockdown has affected the construction works at Chilime Trishuli 220 KV transmission line due to the lack of workers and construction materials. The project had not been able to import construction materials after the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.
According to the project officials, local workers have also stopped working at the Chilime hub due to the fear of transmission of COVID-19. The project is also finding it difficult to hire workers from other districts. Earlier, the hub consisted of 50 workers but now they are only 25 workers at the site. Around 400 workers were working in the transmission line but now, they are only 60 workers present.
According to Subharambha Bikram Shah, project head, the project is working on only one place of the hub and the transmission line. “Earlier, we were working in five places of the transmission line,” said Shah, “But now the work is going on in only one place.”
The construction materials which need to be imported from China are on hold. The required materials for the construction of the substation are examined in China and the required materials for the transmission line are examined in India. Materials from China should arrive via Kolkata and the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus has affected the transportation of the materials.
According to project officials, two hydropower projects in the district were expected to begin production within the current fiscal year. If the transmission line is not constructed on time then the produced electricity would go to waste. 55% of the construction work for the transmission line has been completed so far.
The construction work for the transmission line was started on December 20, 2017 and as per the target, the construction work was scheduled to be completed on June 13, 2019. According to the new deadline, the construction of the substation should be completed within April 30, 2020 but the project has estimated that it will need a new deadline to finish the construction work.
According to Shah, physical difficulties, lack of roads and more time in construction design have led to the delay in the construction of the project. A hydropower project is being constructed in the upper region of Rasuwa and electricity produced from the project will be connected to the national transmission grid for which the transmission line is being constructed.
The transmission line will be constructed from Goljung of Ama Chodingmo Rural Municipality to Trishuli 3B Hub of Kispang Rural Municipality, Nuwakot. The duration of the transmission line is 27 kilometers. The transmission line and the substation are being constructed by the government with grant assistance from KfW Development Bank of Germany and European investment.