MYAGDI, Sept 24: Fourteen years into construction, the 40-megawatt-capacity Rahughat hydropower project has achieved 60 percent progress in its construction work. The construction of the project started in 2066 BS by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) with a concessional loan of USD 67 million from the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and joint investment of the NEA and the Government of Nepal.
After terminating the contract with the old contractor, IVRCL, in 2072 BS due to the weak economic situation, the construction of the project progressed under the company's concept and engineering procurement and contract (EPC) format.
The project should have been completed in 2070 BS according to the previous schedule and agreement. The civil contractor, Jaiprakash Associate (JP), which signed the contract of Rs 6 billion with the completion target set for 2074 BS, has not been able to complete the project within the stipulated time.
Overall, 60 percent physical progress and 45 percent financial progress have taken place so far, said Project Manager Raj Bista. "The project aims to be operational from January 2023. The contractor could not meet the completion target due to COVID-19 and other disasters. So, the contract agreement has been extended until October 17, 2024," he said.
The old contractor, IVRCL, completed only 10 percent of the work in eight years. The JP Company, which started work on the construction of the access road in 2075 BS and a tunnel in 2076 BS, has so far constructed a 61-meter deep surge shaft, a 329-meter bottom pressure shaft, a 654-meter-long road leading to the main tunnel, and a 196-meter vertical tunnel.
Out of a six-kilometer and 270-meter long tunnel, 5,162 meters have been completed so far. One thousand one hundred and eight meters of the tunnel remain to be dug.