Hurdles in Koshi Corridor Transmission Line Project

NEA offers to supply 100 MW of power to Dharan

Published On: January 14, 2019 12:36 PM NPT By: Rohit Rai

DHARAN, Jan 14: Kulman Ghising, managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), has offered to provide 100 MW of hydropower to Dharan Sub-Metropolitan City.

The offer has come from the head of the country’s power utility to assuage locals not to create hurdle in construction of 200 kVA transmission line, also called Koshi Corridor Transmission Line – a national pride project.

The 105-kilometer power grid, which starts from Inaruwa of Sunsari to Tumlingtar of Sankhuwasabha district, is important to evacuate power from the Koshi River basin including Arun III. Ghising reached Dharan on Sunday to resolve problems that the project has been facing.

The sub-metropolis and the locals of Ward 20 have been arguing that the transmission line would make adverse impact on tourism potentials of the area. They have suggested that the transmission line be shifted toward west so that tourist sites are not affected.

Ghising’s proposal to build a substation that will bring in 100 MW of electricity to the city has excited people of the area. He proposed to build the sub-station after hearing complaints of frequent power cuts from the local people. 

“When I was on my way to Dharan, I saw that there was no additional line to bring electricity to the city and the electricity demand in the city is far higher than the supply,” Ghising said, adding that the NEA would put its effort to build a sub-station and provide electricity to the city.

Adequate power supply is one of the cornerstones to development of the area as key sectors and industries cannot function smoothly without electricity. Industries and manufacturing plants only move to areas having adequate power supply which is necessity for smooth operation, said Ghising.

However, some section of the public suspect that the proposal to build a substation is a clever strategy employed by Ghising to divert attention, and contain dissatisfaction and anger of the people due to the transmission line project.

Jaya Kumar Rai, a parliamentary member of Province 1, said he was not sure whether NEA will supply 100 MW of electricity to Dharan. He further raised an important issue regarding the adverse impact that the proposed transmission line would have on the thriving tourism sector.

“Is the proposal just to divert attention of the people? We will have to hold further discussions with Ghising to discuss the matter,” added Rai.

The sub-metropolis is facing acute shortage of electricity. Rai further added that the industrial areas in Tinkune are not receiving adequate power supply.

Secretary for Sunsari Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mahendra Pradhan, said: “We have to bear a lot of trouble in doing business in the region due to lack of necessary infrastructure.”

Similarly, chairman of Dharan town committee of Nepali Congress, Tilak Rai, said that a sub-committee should be formed to research viability of the claims to bring the much-needed electricity into the region. “Industrial development in Dharan is stagnant as cost of operation of factories is. The power supply offered by NEA is very important for the development of the city’s economy,” he added.

Taskforce formed to help clear transmission line hurdles
KATHMANDU, Jan 14: A taskforce has been instituted to resolve local hurdles in Koshi Corridor Transmission Line. 

Chief District Officer of Sunsari, Prem Prakash Upreti, is the coordinator of the taskforce. Chairperson of Dharan Sub-Metropolitan City Ward 20, project chief of the transmission line project, engineer of Dharan sub-metropolis, a representative of stakeholders’ committee formed by the locals, contractor and consultant of the transmission line project, and local representative of major political parties are members in the taskforce.

The taskforce, which was formed in presence of Chief Minister of the Province 1 Sherdhan Rai, has been asked identify problems as well as measures to resolve them. It has been given seven days to submit its report to the Chief Minister.

The sub-metropolis has stopped the project works in Ward 20, arguing that high-tension electricity wires will make adverse impact on areas have tourism potentials. It has asked the NEA to shift the right of way of the transmission line westward by 200 meters. 

However, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the project implementing agency, has been maintaining that it is almost impossible to shift the right of way and that it would cause huge cost and time overruns as well as delay in power evacuation of plants under construction in the Koshi corridor.

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