RASUWA, Aug 27: Works at the Rasuwa-based Rasuwagadhi hydropower project of 111MW capacity are likely to be affected due to shortage of construction materials. Supplies to the power plant have been cut off as the road from Dhunche to Syaphrubesi has been damaged by floods and landslides.
The road has remained closed for more than two weeks due to severe damage by floods in Trishuli River and landslides at Khopangbhir. The stock of construction materials is fast depleting and works at the project have remained halted for two weeks. Project officials have said that the food stock for workers is also limited.
Chhabi Gaire, project chief of Rasuwagadhi Hydropower Company Limited, said: “We are fast running of construction materials and the workers may go idle soon.” He urged the government to repair the damaged road immediately.
The project has only 500 tons of cement and 35,000 liters of diesel in its stock. There are 260 Chinese and over 600 Nepali workers employed at the moment. Gaire said that the contractor may choose to lay off the staff if works are halted even for a few days.
The floods at Ghattekhola in Gosaikunda Rural Municipality had damaged the bridge a month ago but that damage had not affected supplies to the power plant because there was a branch road leading to the project site. But the recent damages due to the Trishulikhola floods and Khopangbhir landslides have totally stopped transportation in the area. As per officials, the project is mostly dependent on cement, steel rods and diesel supplied through the road.
Works in two other hydropower plants -- Sanjen of 42.5 MW and Upper Sanjen of 14.8 MW -- are also under construction in the district. Although they are not yet affected, they may be affected very soon if the damages on the road are not repaired. Officials of Rasuwa Road Division have said that it may take up to 15 days for repairs of the both damages.
Works in the project developed by a subsidiary company of Nepal Electricity Authority had started in 2013, and it has so far achieved a progress of 67 percent. The project has achieved a major milestone with a breakthrough in its main tunnel. Forty-five percent of the works at the underground power house have been completed so far.