Sunkoshi-III Hydro Power Project Affected By COVID-19

The work of the proposed Sunkoshi Hydro Power Project III, situated at the border of Kavrepalanchowk and Ramechhap districts, has been severely affected owing to the risk of COVID-19 infection.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project and public hearing at the local level are impeding because of the COVID-19. This has slugged the study of the project for two years.

Subash Thapaliya, Engineer at the Department of Electricity Development said that the 90 per cent study regarding the technicality prospects has already been completed. “However, the EIA and public hearing at the local level is yet to be started,” said Engineer Thapaliya.

He added that the public hearing would be held after discussions with 13 local level chiefs of the area affected by the project, adding that the EIA and public hearings would be completed within four to six months.

He said that technical survey of the project, geological study, mapping, project site and surrounding rocks and other conditions, engineering design, transmission line study, water measurement and sediment study, the study of electricity trade, tourism development plan have been completed.

The department has proposed to build a dam on the border of Temal Rural Municipality -9 of Kavre and Khandadevi Rural Municipality-1, Lubhughat of Ramechhap under the Sunkoshi River flowing through the borders of Kavrepalanchok, Sindhupalchok, Ramechhap and Sindhuli districts.

Thapalia added that even though the earlier study had shown that 536-megawatt electricity can be produced from the project, but, the current study shows that 683-megawatt electricity can be generated from the project.

The project’s powerhouse is proposed to construct at the Temal Rural Municipality-9, Titretar.

By building 484 meters long and 166 meters height dam in the Temal Rural Municipality -9 of Kavre and Khandadevi Rural Municipality-1, Lubhughat of Ramechhap, 570 cubic meters per second of water will be taken from the tunnel to the powerhouse at Temal Rural Municipality-9, Titretar.

It has been mentioned that the water will be discharged into the Sunkoshi River again by the tailrace after the power generation.

Engineer Thapaliya said that around 17 hundred households of Kavrepalanchowk, Sindhupalanchowk, Sindhuli and Ramechhap districts, will be affected by the project. If the Sunkoshi-3 project is constructed, the reservoir capacity will be 20 times larger than the Kulekhani dam and 1,780 million cubic meters of water will be stored in the reservoir.

The Sunkoshi Hydro Power Project III was included in the second Investment Summit held in Kathmandu in April 2018.

In 1985, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) conducted a feasibility study for a reservoir-based power project in the area. The department had allocated Rs 190 million last year for the study of Sunkoshi Hydro Power Project III and Sunkoshi-II Storage Hydroelectric Project and Rs 60 million for this year.

Thapaliya said that Rs. 330 million would be spent on the feasibility study of both projects.

Source : TRN,