After overcoming the major challenges in achieving progress after the Gurkha Earthquake, the 486-MW Upper Tamakoshi project is now back in motion. However, how project overcomes the latest obstruction created by Khandichaur-Charikot road section will determine the chances of completion of the project in the new proposed schedule by the June 2018 deadline.
Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project overcame all the challenges it faced following the earthquake and completed eighty percent of the construction work. If the working pace of Khandichaur-Charikot road expansion project does not pick up, the hydro project is likely to be delayed again.
Due to the road expansion, the process of transporting heavy electro-mechanical equipment and other construction materials has been affected. As the road is in a bad shape, Upper Tamakoshi is facing difficulty in transporting the necessary equipment for completing its work as scheduled.
“The road is the lifeline for the project. The road has been affecting even our day to day work because of traffic disturbance in the section between Charikot and Lamasanghu,”said Bigyan Prasad Shrestha, project chief of Upperr Tamakosi Hydropower Project. “To overcome the challenges, the project has already built several intermediate storage sites on the way to project site for storing heavy consignments.” “We are also coordinating with road authority in order to minimize the effects.”
Under lot-2, there need to transport heavy machineries like gates, penstock, still pipes, stop-loges among the necessary hydro-mechanical components.Tex Maco Rail and Engineering Ltd of India is the contractor of lot 2.
If the equipment, worth millions of rupees,do not get transported through the new diversion built over Sunkosi river by June or onset of monsoon, the transport movement will halt for until November.
As the project is facing problems, a team comprising Nepal Electricity Authority Executive Director Kul Man Ghising, investors and contractors inspected the under-construction 456 megawatt Upper Tamakoshi Hydro project at Lamabagar in Dolakha last month.
The project work is going on as per a unified calendar. But the lot-2 work is not satisfactory as the road condition is terrible to carry the necessary equipment to the project site.
Led by MD Ghishing, the team, which made a field observation, included management committee members Harraj Neupane, Mohan Ratna Shakya, Lekhnath Koirala, Nepal Telecom’s Director Kamini Rajbhandari, Insurance Committee’s Ashwini Kumar Thakur and Employees Provident Fund’s Rajendra Kafle.
Although the project officials claim that the project will be completed by June 2018, given the current pace of construction project, the second lot of hydro-mechanical components is likely to create work delays.
“The project has to be completed within the deadline. We are ready to settle problems and hurdles if there are any,” said Ghishing, addressing the project’s contractor company Sino-Hydro Consultant Company and the project management. “If the project requires, I am ready to stay here for months. We should meet the new deadline,” directed Ghishing.
Meanwhile, Ghising directed the contractor company to dig the remaining 990-metre tunnel in three shifts. The total length of the tunnel is 8.6 km. "The project needs to be completed by schedule. I want to support the completion of the project.”
He also directed civil contractors Sino Hydro to mobilize the necessary manpower to run in three phases to achieve the target by the deadline of June 2018.
With a committed team led by head of Upper Tamakosi Bigyan Shrestha and strong support from NEA MD Ghishing, everything is perfectly going inside the project. In terms of progress also, as much as 88 per cent of the total construction work has been completed. If the road project supports the equipment transport, the hydel project can complete in time.