Work to build factories at Bhairahawa SEZ to begin from April

Published On: February 11, 2018 07:47 AM NPT By: Rekha Bhusal

BHAIRAHAWA, Feb 11: Establishment of industries at Special Economic Zone (SEZ) located at Bhairahawa, is finally set to take off this April, following directives of SEZ Authority to register industries within one week of approval for industry, and to begin production within a year. 

Earlier, industrialists were demanding to ensure electricity supply in the SEZ to start construction of industries. 

Eleven of the 19 industries that had previously agreed to start operation at the SEZ, have received a permission letter from the Authority. These industries have leased 32 plots in the zone. According to Sundar Thapa, spokesperson for the Authority, these industries are required to get registered within a week’s time. 

As per SEZ Act, if the industries do not start factory construction on time after receiving the permission letter, they will first face a fine and later cancellation of registration. They have to pay rent for land soon after registering the industries. 

Thapa requested the industries to start constructing their factories, reminding them that they need not worry about electricity as the head of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) himself has ensured to provide electricity to SEZ. 

Currently, SEZ has a three-phase electricity line, which is enough for the construction of industries. “We have enough electricity to complete all the construction work of industries,” said Laxman Bhattarai, a SEZ engineer. 

The Bhairahawa SEZ has 68 plots of which 59 have already been assigned for 19 industries. According to spokesperson Thapa, SEZ has issued a 15 days’ notice to the industries that are not yet registered. 

“If they do not register their industries within 15 days then their registration will be dismissed and we will call for new industries,” Thapa added.  

Though the SEZ officials claimed that the physical infrastructure was ready for industries, sub-station construction has not been started yet. The sub-station is a basic infrastructure for industries. Furthermore, drinking water pipeline and drainage are in bad condition. SEZ has not even opened a tender for sub-station construction. 

The electricity line will be useless unless a sub-station is built at SEZ, said Munindra Thakur, chief of Bhairahawa Distribution Center of NEA. 

“Electricity brought from Dhakdhari sub-station will be supplied to the industries via SEZ sub-station,” Thakur added. SEZ engineer Bhattarai said that they are preparing to call a tender targeting to complete substation construction within one year.  

Although the NEA and SEZ are ensuring industrialists to provide electricity as per their requirements, investors are yet to be convinced.

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