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Hydropower Projects in Sudurpaschim Province Stalled Despite Feasibility Studies

२०८१ जेठ १६, ०३:३० Dineshkhabar Desk

Dhangadhi — The government of Sudurpaschim Province has been focusing on the feasibility and development of hydropower projects as part of its policy and program for the financial year 2076/77.

Detailed feasibility studies, including initial environmental impact assessments, have been completed for three projects: the 6.97 MW Naugad Hydroelectric Project in Darchula, the 7.75 MW Surnayagad Hydropower Project in Baitadi, and the 7.71 MW Upper Surnayagad Hydropower Project.

Mohan Bahadur Kunwar, spokesperson for the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Development, confirmed that the Detailed Project Reports (DPR) for these projects are ready, and environmental impact assessments are underway. Despite these efforts, no substantial investment has been made towards hydropower generation.

Kunwar pointed out that while the state government has the authority to enter into contracts for hydropower generation up to 20 MW, no actual progress has been made, and the DPR files remain inactive. The primary issue appears to be the absence of a clear construction and operation model for hydropower projects.

Larger projects like Paschim Seti, SR-6, and Pancheshwar remain stalled, and even smaller provincial projects have not progressed due to a lack of specific policies and laws governing hydropower in the province.

Kunwar noted that the provincial government's plan to bring 10 small hydropower projects into operation in collaboration with local levels has also been stalled. Despite having the capacity to invest in projects up to 20 MW, the provincial government has yet to allocate funds for construction, resulting in zero investment in hydropower generation so far.

The state government is now under pressure to develop a clear policy and actionable plan for the upcoming fiscal year to address these issues and move forward with hydropower development.

Dineshkhabar Desk

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