45pc of squeezed tunnel treatedChina Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), the civil contractor for the Chameliya Hydroelectric Project, has completed treatment of around 45 percent of its squeezed tunnel section.
China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), the civil contractor for the Chameliya Hydroelectric Project, has completed treatment of around 45 percent of its squeezed tunnel section.
According to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the owner of the 30 MW project located in Darchula district in the Far West, 105 metres out of the 232 metres of the squeezed section have been treated.
CGGC had returned to work at the project last October after a hiatus of more than two years. As per the revised work schedule prepared by the civil contractor and approved by the NEA at the end of the September, the treatment of the squeezed section of the tunnel needs to be completed within 160 days from the beginning of October.
“However, they have completed treatment of 45 percent of the squeezed section in 70 days, which is not bad considering that there were labour shortages due to festivals during the October-November period,” said Ajay Kumar Dahal, project chief of Chameliya.
“Looking at the pace of work, they are likely to complete the treatment ahead of schedule.”
Last week, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had paid a visit to the project site and directed the project officials and the contractor to expedite the construction work and bring the project on line as soon as possible.
“The prime minister’s visit was an inspiration for the contractor too, and they have promised to complete the work ahead of schedule,” Dahal said.
After treating the squeezed tunnel, the civil contractor has to block three audit tunnels besides concreting the tunnel as components of the civil works.
According to CGGC’s revised work schedule, it needs to finish all these tasks by September 2017. “However, they are likely to complete the job well before the deadline,” said Dahal.
“The contractor has asked for 70 days’ time to complete the remaining tasks after finishing the civil works. Considering the speed at which they have been working, the project is likely to be completed by December 2017.”
The construction of the project had been stalled since May 2014 after the government refused to make an additional payment of Rs1.09 billion which the contractor had asked for due to cost variance resulting from the squeezing of the tunnel.
The contractor agreed to resume work after being summoned to the Energy Ministry and told to do so immediately by Minister Janardan Sharma.
The NEA also agreed to release a provisional payment of the disputed bill before the issue was resolved in order to maintain a regular cash flow for the project.
Once the dispute is settled, the contractor has to return the excess if it has been paid too much and it will receive additional payment in case of a deficit.