It was mid-day on November 27, Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority Kul Man Ghising reached the Haku of Amachhodin Rural Municipality ward 1to discuss the issues of local people and end their obstruction created in the construction of Chilime-Trishuli 3 B hub 220 kV transmission line..
As soon as he got out from the vehicle, along with his senior colleagues, MD Ghising found himself surrounded by dozens of local youths demanding a bar on outsiders in the construction work of transmission line. Chanting slogans against NEA and contractors, insisting to obstruct the construction work till NEA issued a written commitment to bar workers from outside; the youth were in the confrontational mood.
With skills and courage to woo the locals, MD Ghising quietly listened to their slogans, walking to a side of the road to take part in the interactions. As the transmission line project is highly important to evacuate electricity generated in the region, prolonged obstruction created by the local youth could be financially disastrous.
Knowing the cost of prolonged obstruction in erecting the towers, MD Ghising approached the angry youth with a voice of compromise and conciliation.
Addressing the meeting attended by Chairman of VDC Buchung Tamang, ward chair Nima Dindu Tamang and other community members, MD Ghising explained how financially damaging for the local community of Rasuwa it is going to be in case of delay in the construction work. He said that local community will also have to bear the financial loss from delay in the projects.
MD Ghising proposed local youths as an alternative arrangement and urged to end the obstruction created for the construction of 12 towers in the areas. With his statement, the angry youth had softened their stand and agreed on his compromise formula.
After visiting hilly areas, MD Ghising immediately landed at Parawanipur industrial corridor and discussed with industrialists regarding increase in the power consumption. Ghising directed concerned authorities to improve the transmission line, including 33 kV transmission line, to maintain the constant supply of electricity.
This is neither the first incident nor the last. MD Ghising has never shown any hesitance to interact with groups, individuals and community to end the obstruction in the transmission line and hydropower project. He has already settled the local obstruction in half a dozen places following direct interaction with the people.
Last month, he pursued locals in Udayapur to lift the obstruction created in the constructions of two towers of 132 kV Solu-corridor. He also visited Hetauda, Naglebhari, Nawalpur, Palpa and other parts of Nepal to convince local community to lift the obstruction in the transmission line construction.
In his earlier, four-year, tenure as MD and current second tenure, MD Ghising has been always sacrificing his personal safety issue while taking initiative to end the deadlock and obstructions created by the people.
From increased consumption of electricity to supply of uninterrupted quality electricity, MD Ghising has several challenges before him. For this he has been taking multiple approaches.
NEA has been facing several obstructions in the construction of transmission lines. Apart from community, transmission line projects have often faced obstruction from the Ministry of Forest and Department of Roads.
Started in 2019, 220 kV Chilime Trishuli Transmission line project has just completed 60 percent of the work. Currently, the work is taking pace expecting to complete the transmission line by July 2022. Under this project, 220-132-33 kV substations, 220 kV Chilime Trishuli double circuit transmission line is under construction. The civil works of two substations is in final stage and over 60 percent of equipment including power transfer and GIS has already reached in the site.
Out of 79 towers, the contactor has already completed the basement with partial completion of 17 towers. Six towers have already been erected. Under this project, 19 kilometer parts of Chilime Mailung consist of double circuit and 8 KM Mailung Trishuli 3 B hub with four circuits.
Situated in geographically remote and very difficult terrain, the project has not made progress due to weak working performance of contractor and consultant, COVID-19, local level obstruction, dealing in foreign clearance. The project is constructed under the financial support of Nepal Government, Nepal Electricity Authority and concessional loan from German Development Bank KWF and German Investment Bank.
After site visit and interactions with local community, the MD Ghising-led team also discussed the issue with Chinese contractor and Indian Consultant company. Directing the contractor, MD Ghising said that the project is highly important for NEA to evacuate the electricity urging the contractor not to delay work. He requested the contactor to complete the project as per their commitment.
He has made it clear that NEA will take all efforts to address the issue of local obstructions and shortage of running capital. This transmission line will evacuate the electricity of 111 MW Rasuwagadhi, 42.5 MW Sanjen and 14.5 upper Sanjen Project. The MD-led team visited the project after the possibility of wasting energy generated by those projects due to delay in the construction.
During his inspection visit to transmission line project, MD Ghising also visited Sanjen, Upper Sanjen and Rasuwagadhi directing the concerned authorities to expedite the construction works and complete the project at the earliest.
Under the lead of NEA and Chilime Hydropower Company, 42.5 MW Sanjen, 14.8 MW Upper Sanjen and 111 MW Rasuwagadhi projects are now undergoing construction.
Built through People’s Hydropower Programs with the investment of common people, the construction of the projects is getting late. The progress of the project has been badly hampered by earthquake, obstruction in the Indian Border, geographical conditions, and complication in the implementation of contract, floods and COVID-19.
During the visit, MD Ghising has directed the concerned parties to complete the project in the time without any excuse. The financial closure of these three projects was made during Ghising’s tenure as a head of Chilime Hydropower Company.
Although the civil works including tunnel and dam of all these projects have already completed, the delaying in the installation of the electro-mechanical equipment has delayed the completion.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Chinese technicians left the country. However, they returned now in the project sites and are installing the equipment With MD Ghising giving high priority to the project, it is likely to complete by early next year.
MD Ghising’s site inspection and visit of project site with high level officials of NEA will help to accelerate the projects. MD Ghising knows that his mission of quality and uninterrupted supply of the electricity is possible only by completion of the hydropower projects and transmission lines.