The 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Reservoir Hydropower Project is a national-pride project, and the Nepal Electricity Authority has launched a campaign to promote its construction. The top leadership of the NEA visited the proposed construction site and reservoir area on Saturday to begin the project's building process, as directed by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'.
They visited the dam and powerhouse construction site and submerging area under the direction of the NEA's Managing Director Kulman Ghising, Deputy Executive Director Pradeep Kumar Thike, and the Project's Environment, Compensation Distribution, Rehabilitation, and Rehabilitation Unit Coordinator Jagat Kumar Shrestha.
Additionally, they looked over the potential dam and power house development sites in Salang, Siddlake Rural Municipality. The group also traveled to places including Arughat, Duwan, and Arkhet.
The team also collected data on the land acquisition necessary for the project, the status of compensation, and the current distribution of compensation.
The project will be developed using a corporate format, the government has decided. A company called Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Company has been formed to carry out the project's construction. According to Managing Director Ghising, negotiations to change the company's share structure for the project's construction under the authority's direction and supervision are in progress.
Budhigandaki's proximity to electricity load centers like Kathmandu, Chitwan, and Pokhara makes it strategically significant as well. The corporation will be majority owned by NEA, and the project will be financed domestically by issuing shares to the general people. According to MD Ghising, the government would make insufficient investments and offer low-interest loans.
There won't be any issues with investment if the government can arrange to deposit half of the infrastructure tax assessed on the import of petroleum fuel directly into the project account.
The project's anticipated cost is 2.59 billion US dollars, according to the consultant's report from 2015. At current pricing, the anticipated cost of the redesigned project is $2.77 billion. The project will take 8 years to construct.
About 90% of the project's land acquisition, which is said to be its most difficult component, has been completed. Jagdhani has received a payout of almost 42 billion rupees as compensation for the land, building, plants, and fruits. The initiative would have an impact on 8,017 homes in Gorkha and Dhading both physically and financially. 3,560 of these homes will be fully relocated.
The Budhigandaki River would be blocked from flowing over the border of the Gorkha and Dhading districts by a 263 meter high curved arch dam. The water reservoir will cover 63 square kilometers in the upper area once the dam is built.
This will have an impact on 14 rural villages in Dhading (where there are presently 4 rural municipalities and 1 municipality) and 13 rural villages in Gorkha (where there are currently 4 rural municipalities).
The project's maximum water level will be 540 meters. Over 3.38 billion units of electricity will be produced annually by the project.