KATHMANDU, March 23: Upper Tamakoshi Hydro Electric Project (UTHEP) will start electricity generation from mid-June. The mega project has achieved 99% work progress.
According to project officials, the project has already installed 355 meters of penstock pipes – 220 meters in lower tunnel and 125 meters in upper tunnel – in the tunnel. Installation of 147 meters of penstock pipes in lower tunnel and 171 meters in upper tunnel is remaining, they said, adding that the remaining work will be completed in one and half months.
Kulman Ghising, managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), said that project will initially generate 76 MW of energy from the first unit. Remaining units will start generation gradually, he added.
Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barsha Man Pun, visited the project site in Dolakha district on Sunday. He inspected the project's dam and descender basin, among others.
The project has a 22-meter high and 60-meter wide dam. It has eight gates and four descender basins. The water collected in the dam will be diverted to the power house through these basins via main tunnel.
Speaking on the occasion, Pun directed the project officials to start power generation by mid-June. "The government is committed to address all the problems and hindrances that the project faces. But the project must be completed within the targeted time," he added.
It is Pun's third visit to the project site after he assumed the office of Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation.
The hydropower project is promoted by different government agencies like NEA, Citizens Investment Trust and Employees Provident Fund, among others. Locals of Dolakha and Ramechhap as well as general public have also invested in the project.
"As the project has investments of not only government agencies but also general public, there shouldn't be further delay," Pun told officials.
Also speaking at the program, Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens, Parbat Gurung, said that the project has finally arrived at the final stage despite different obstructions. Gurung, who is also a lawmaker from Dolakha district, also thanked all concerned agencies for helping to resolve problems and obstructions faced by the project.