NEA substation to be constructed at landslide prone area; Melamchi flood victims meet PM with grievances

The Nepal Electricity Authority Sudurpaschim Provincial Office, Attariya, has started construction of a substation in Badimalika Municipality, Bajura which is prone to landslides.

The area is also said to be at risk of other disasters such as soil erosion. Amid the monsoon season, the site has already been encroached by Bahulikhola.

The construction of the 33-kv transmission line and substation has started without a proper study of landslide risks and without any environmental impact assessment.

The chief of the NEA Provincial Office, Attariya, Jagadis Chandra Joshi, said that construction of the Sanphe-Martadi 33-kV transmission line had already started.

He said the contract for the project was worth over Rs 9 crore while Rs 69 lakh had already been signed and work had started.

Joshi, however, said that the construction site was not at the risk of landslides and that the substation was being constructed on the land offered by the municipality.

Chairperson of Gaumul Rural Municipality Hari Bahadur Rokaya meanwhile admitted that the site was prone to landslides, and said that the authorities concerned had ignored the matter.

Badimalika Municipality Mayor Padam Bahadur Baduwal said that they had searched for land at many places but could not find a better place.

Waiba Infratek Pvt Ltd Bijeshwori, Kathmandu, has been entrusted with the contract for construction of the substation line at an estimated price of over Rs 9 crore, 45 lakh.

As per the agreement, the construction work will be completed within 18 months of the contract signing on 27 July 2020.

Meanwhile, flood survivors from Melamchi of Sindhupalchowk district yesterday called on Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, seeking government’s active role in the prevention and management of possible disasters in the future.

A group of survivors, led by Sagar Kumar Shrestha, reached the Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar to apprise the Prime Minister of their issues.

They have demanded that the government immediately construct an embankment to the river so that potential incidences of river-based disasters could be prevented in the future.

They have also urged the government to restore the river to its original course, to manage soil to mend the damaged houses and farm and to bring an economic package targeting those survivors who have lost homes, jobs and their business to the devastating flood occurred in the second week of June.

Similarly, they have requested for waiving off the interest of bank loans of traders affected by the flood.

A proper compensation to the bereaved families including jobs is among other demands put forth by the delegation before the Prime Minister.

After hearing from the delegation, Prime Minister Deuba said he was updated about the damages caused by the Melamchi flood and was highly serious about the demands.

Sindhupalchowk district is one of the districts largely affected by the 2015 April 25 earthquake.

Helambu rural municipality, Melamchi municipality and Panchpokhari Thangpaal rural municipality suffered wider implications of the flood that occurred in the aftermath of the incessant rain on the night of June 15.