400kV transmission line project comes to haltThe construction of 400kV Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Duhabi transmission line has come to a halt after the District Forest Office prevented the contractor from installing transmission towers in the forest area.
The construction of 400kV Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Duhabi transmission line has come to a halt after the District Forest Office prevented the contractor from installing transmission towers in the forest area.
The office had barred the contractor from installing transmission towers six months ago stating necessary permission was not taken to cut down trees in the forest area.
“One needs to get permission from the Forest Ministry or the Cabinet to cut down trees in forest areas,” said Dirgha Narayan Koirala, district forest officer. “But trees are being cut down here using excavators without taking any permission. This is illegal. That’s why we halted the construction work.”
Koirala informed that Ram Babu Sah, a forest officer, had allowed the contractor to cut down trees at Chetnagar forest area when he was transferred to Rauthat. “But after knowing this was against the law, he had stopped the contractor from moving ahead,” Koirala said, adding, “We will allow the contractor to install transmission towers only if it gets permit from concerned authorities.”
The district forest office has also blamed the contractor of not keeping record of trees that were cut down in Chetnagar forest area. “Some of the trunks are missing,” said Koirala. These problems are expected to delay construction of the project being built by India-based Angelique International Limited.
The Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Duhabi transmission line project extends from Hetauda Municipality in Makawanpur district to Duhabi in Sunsari district. The total length of the transmission line, which is being built at a cost of Rs6 billion, is 288.2 km.
The double-circuit transmission line has 23-metre-wide right of way on each side from the centreline of the overhead transmission line.
The project needs to build substations at Bokraha (Sunsari district), Dhalkebar (Dhanusha district) and Hetauda (Makawanpur district). The project also needs to install 319 transmission towers.
“The project deadline is 30 months from now. But the contractor is unlikely to complete its work on time due to all the delays,” said Radhesharan Mahato, chief of the Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Duhabi transmission line project.
Mahato said that the district forest office had prevented the contractor from installing transmission towers as more trees had to be cut down than that mentioned in the permit given to the project.
“We have already informed the Forest Ministry about this. Work will resume once the ministry reviews our case,” said Mahato.