The construction of Sunkoshi-Third Hydroelectricity Project has been stalled due to the COVID-19.
The additional process for the construction of the project has been stalled with the rise in the risk of coronavirus infection in the country soon after the technical works related to its terms of reference had been completed.
A Nepali and a Chinese consulting firm had already submitted the TOR of the project to the Department of Electricity Development last January. It is stated in the TOR that technical works related to 'interior design' to survey have been completed.
Works related to environmental impact assessment (EIA) as well as additional works of the project have halted now due to COVID-19 pandemic, engineer at the Department, Subhas Thapaliya, said.
He added that they have not been able to brief the Ministry of Forests and Environment about the EIA of the project due to the risk of pandemic. Thapaliya said the EIA report mentions the various provisions including the compensation to the households and areas to be directly or indirectly affected by the project.
According to him, the Ministry of Energy, Water resources and Irrigation, and the Ministry of Forests and Environment had jointly begun the process since mid-October last year for determining the area for the project's EIA.
At that time suggestions had been collected from the schools, hospitals, health posts, stakeholders and organisations of the affected districts, municipalities and rural municipalities.
The reservoir of the project is proposed to be built at Lubhughat, Khandadevi rural municipality in Ramechhap district and the bordering area of Temal rural municipality-9 in Kavrepalanchok district. The Sunkoshi river flows through the border between Kavrepalanchok, Sindhupalchok, Ramechhap and Sindhuli districts in Bagmati province.
Thapaliya said that about 1,600 families are likely to be impacted by the project. The proposed Sunkoshi-Third Project will generate 536 megawatts power.
Source: National News Agency Nepal