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US provides $ 500 million to support the construction of Nepal’s transmission line

KATHMANDU: The works relating to the construction of two mega projects having strategic importance have begun. A company named ‘SCA Nepal ‘ has been registered for the project to be conducted with the investment of the US government under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

The company will construct a 318km transmission line with the capacity of 400 KV. The implementation of the Millennium Challenges Compact would begin from June 30, 2020. Information to this was shared at a press conference in the federal capital on Thursday.

The transmission line begin from Nanglebhare of Kathmandu will go to Gorakhpur via Nuwakot, Damauli, and Butwal. There would be high powered substations in Butwal.

The project has aimed at developing a mega highway for strategically supplying electricity and providing electricity to some 9 million people. The mega project would cost Rs 71 billion – 500 million US dollars by the US and 130 million US dollars by the Nepal government. It would have roadway together. As per the plan, 305km long roadway would be built with the adoption of modern technology.

The transmission line would be connected to the transborder line in Gorakhpur, India. Executive Director of MCA Nepal, Khadga Bahadur Bista, shared that these two projects of strategic importance would begin from coming June 30.

In order to begin with the construction, environmental impact assessment and technical works have been initiated, he said, adding, “All preparatory works will be completing in 11 months to begin the project on the stipulated date.”

MCC has put the condition to complete internal preparations before the construction begins and to complete the task within five years. Executive Director Bista shared that the project would begin by upcoming July.

It is stated that the responsibility of completing the project lies on all stakeholders as it was Nepal’s important project which is supported by the US government. The project would be important to meet the government’s goal of generating 15,000 megawatt power by coming 10 years.

Bista added that the extension of transmission line was challenging as it was linked with the forest issues. He further argued that intensive talks were held with stakeholders so that no hindrances would be witnessed in the future in course of forwarding the project.

The project has planned to construct 400 KV transmission line from Lapsiphedi to Damauli and Damauli to Nepal-India border, Sunaul.

The transmission line to be built in MCC’s support will be connected with the second cross-border transmission line (Butwal to Gorakhpur) proposed by the government which is also enlisted as a national pride project.

Likewise, repair of six roads measuring 305 kilo metres in length will be done under the road project. The roads choses for repair are Mechi’s Charaali to Phidim (130 km), Koshi’s Lokmarga to Dharan’s Basantapur (88 km), Sagarmatha’s Lokmarga to Lahan, Gaighat (26km), Ratna Lokmarga’s Ameliya to Tulsipur (38 km), and Tribhuvan Lokpath’s Hetauda to Bhimfedi (22 km).

An agreement towards this end was signed between erstwhile Minister for Finance Gyanendra Bahadur Karki and MCC on the behalf of the American government. The Federal Parliament is, however, yet to endorse the agreement.

Executive Director Bista shared that the agreement will be passed through the Federal Parliament soon. Agreement for the implementation of the projects also remained to be signed between the government and MCC Nepal.

NEA Executive Director Kul Man Ghising in the meeting had assured that agreement on the Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-country transmission line would be inked, Bista quoted Ghising as saying.

Works relating to the Project, such as Detailed Project Report, tender call, determining the route for transmission line among other would take a stride once the agreement is enforced.

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