CHITWAN, April 27: The work of undergrounding electric wires on the main highway of Bharatpur Metropolitan City, Chitwan, is underway.
The Pokhara-Bharatpur Distribution System Strengthening Project under the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has accelerated the work from Gondrang to Pulchowk under the East-West Highway and on the bypass road within a year.
“A total of 33.42 km HDPE pipes required for undergrounding the 33 KV power line from Pulchowk to Gondrang Chowk has been laid underground. More than four km of cable has been buried,” said Ananda Subedi, head of the project, “Overall, the construction work has been 20 percent.” Subedi informed Republica that the construction work will be completed by December 2023.
Under the Pokhara-Bharatpur Distribution System Strengthening Project, 36 km of 33 KV line, 75 km of 11 KV line and 70 km of 400 volt line will be undergrounded in the main urban areas of Bharatpur.
In addition, 26 km of underground optical fiber will be laid and the capacity of the existing transformers will be increased and new ones will be added. In order to complete the project, in January 2022, India’s multinational company Tata was awarded a contract for Rs 1.30 billion. However, the project was inaugurated by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Chairman of CPN (Maoist Center) and Prime Minister.
About 60 percent of the contract time has passed. However, Subedi, the head of the project, says that the construction work will be completed on time.
“ About 80 percent of the design of the project has been completed. Goods are being imported from India. As well, approximately 50% of the work related to procurement has been completed,” he said, “We have completed 20 percent of the work in the two months since we started working in the field. Looking at it this way, we expect the construction company to be able to finish the work on time.”
The NEA is currently automating the power distribution system of the Kathmandu Valley by undergrounding and strengthening it. This program has been extended to the main urban areas of Pokhara and Bharatpur distribution centers. The total cost of the project is Rs 2.60 billion. Out of that, a budget allocation of Rs 1.30 billion has been made for Bharatpur.
This project has the joint investment of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Government of Nepal and the NEA.
Renu Dahal, mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan Municipality, said that the work of undergrounding the electrical structure will help to fulfill the goal of building a smart and beautiful Bharatpur.
“We expect reliable and quality electricity supply with electrical safety from this project,” She said, “ It also enhances the beauty of the city.” Mayor Dahal also instructed the construction company to complete the work on time.
The head of the project, Subedi says that the underground system will be safer and more reliable than the current overhead distribution system.
Employees of NEA say that it will be difficult to repair the underground distribution system when it is damaged.
Now, the wire has been made underground inside the Chitwan National Park to supply electricity to Madi. Sometimes it takes a few months to repair in case any damage occurs.