US-financed transmission line gets national pride status

Published On: September 23, 2018 07:34 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 23: The government on Friday declared a 300-kilometer-long transmission line implemented under the US government grant of US$ 500 million as a national pride project.

The transmission line is a single project carried out in three different phases: Lapsiphedi-Ratmate-Damauli, Damauli-Sunawal-India border, and Ratmate-Hetauda. 

Besides the line, six other road maintenance projects are being developed with the US Compact Fund to Nepal, which will run for five years. 

Along with the transmission line, the number of national pride projects has reached 22. 

Office of the Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-N) said that the national pride status of the project required monthly progress reports, unlike several other development projects. Such projects may enjoy some relaxation of legal obligations, and their works can be expedited in the fast track mode. 

Tulasi Sitaula, the national coordinator of the Office of the Millennium Challenge Account Nepal, informed that the status of ‘national pride’ helps them to execute the project in the given timeframe and encourages them to take rigorous follow-up actions during project management. 

The office has started land acquisition works for the ambitious transmission line project, which will be one of the major electricity supply networks of the country connecting major cities with major hubs of electricity production from Marshyangdi and Trishuli river basins. The line will also be connecting Nepal’s transmission line with India with which the government has aimed to trade electricity. The transmission line is of 400 KVA capacity and is being built with a total investment of $300 million.

Of the total national pride projects, only a few have performed well. Lately, Budhigandaki Hydropower Project was added to the list of national pride projects. 

The office of the MCA-N plans to invest the remaining $200 million in road upgrade projects, including Chaarali-Phidim (130 km), Dharan-Basantapur (88 km), Kadamaha (of Lahan) to Gaighat (26 km), Hetauda-Bhaise-Bhimphedi (22 km), Amelia-Tulsipur (38 km) and a pilot project of 25 km which is yet to begin, but aims to set the best example with the use of latest technology. 

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