Parbat, Dec 20 (RSS): Works on the construction of power transmission line of the Kaligandaki Hydropower Project have been affected as the project of national pride awaits orders to chop off trees for the purpose.
The project is waiting for the green signal to cut trees along the alignment of the 220 KVA transmission grid from Dana of Myagdi to Khurkot of Parbat. As a result, the construction of 30 pylons on the Dana-Khurkot transmission line has been stalled.
Although the Council of Ministers on December 28, 2017 made a decision to permit cutting down 4,208 trees on the Kaligandaki Transmission Line Corridor, the decision has not been implemented. The government had also decided to give 2.58 hectares of land for use for the construction of the 30 power pylons to the project.
Project chief Chandan Kumar Ghosh said the work of constructing the power pylons and connecting cables has been stalled as the decision of the Council of Ministers remained unimplemented for a year. The project has not been able to enter the forest area as it is not authorized to cut down trees for proceeding ahead with the construction works.
Regarding the issue, the Division Forestry Office Myagdi said that the order to cut down trees has been stopped as the project has not given any heed to implementing the agreement it reached with the Department of Forests that it should provide land equal in area that it would occupy in the forest area.
As per the agreement, there is also the alternative of making cash payment equivalent to the cost of the land that needed to be acquired including the cost required for planting and taking care of the tree saplings in case land could not be given.
However, the project chief Ghosh said that they have not found appropriate land to be made available to the District Forestry Office and were ready to make the payment in cash if the the Office gave them the figure of land valuation.
Nepal Electricity Authority is constructing a sub-station each at Dana and Khurkot, and the 39-kilometre transmission line for feeding in the electricity to be generated from the project. The project is under construction in the northern belt of Myagdi and in Mustang. Eleven community forests are affected by the project in Myagdi.
It is stated that 477 large trees and 981 small trees need to be chopped off for the transmission line in Myagdi.
So far 81 out of the total 114 towers of the project have been constructed. Sub-stations are also under construction at Dana of Annapurna rural municipality-3 and at Khurkot of Kushma municipality-1 in Parbat. Six kilometers power cables have been installed at places where the towers have been constructed.
Contract agreement had been reached with Tata Projects and Chint Electric JV in 2016 for the construction of the sub-station and the transmission line from Dana to Khurkot. The project cost is Rs 2.90 billion and it is being constructed with the cooperation of the Asian Development Bank.
The term of the project contract has been extended by six months. It was set to be completed in November 2018. More than 70 per cent of the project’s works have been completed, project chief Ghosh said.