Locals attack Upper Trishuli transmission line workers

Nuwakot locals demanding a higher land compensation have attacked workers engaged in erecting the transmission line for the Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower Project and prevented them from carrying out their work.

The hydropower project has distributed compensation payments for the 45-km stretch extending from Archali, Manakamana to Matatirtha, Kathmandu. A total of 143 towers are planned to be erected for the 220 kV transmission line.

The project has acquired land in places where the transmission towers will be erected, and paid some money in overhead power line compensation. However, landowners have been claiming power line compensation in the same amount as pylon compensation.

Villagers of Suryamati VDC attacked the workers when they were working on tower number 42.1. A group of 10-12 local youths jumped on the workers while they were sleeping after having completed their task. The assailants also destroyed the tent in which they were sleeping and warned them not to come back.

The police have arrested Suman Tamang and Hari Tamang of Suryamati VDC in connection with the attack. Police Inspector Birendra Thapa said that both of them had been charged under the Public Offence Act.

A few days ago, the locals had cut off the leg bolt of the transmission tower at Gerkhu. The construction of the transmission line has been progressing much slower than the hydropower project.

The 60 MW plant is expected to start generating energy within a year. Project officer Narayan Acharya blamed the setback on delays in sorting out land compensation issues.

Only 30 of the planned 143 towers have been erected so far. Work on the foundations of 12 towers is being done presently.

The contractor for the construction of the transmission line China International Water Corporation has to complete the construction task by April 2016. Around 15,000 trees belonging to 24 community forests will be cut down to erect the transmission line towers.

The Upper Trishuli 3A project is a run-of-the-river hydropower project located in Nuwakot and Rasuwa districts. Its construction began in fiscal year 2010-11 and has been financed by a soft loan from China Exim Bank. The project is expected to improve the power supply in the Kathmandu valley.

Source: eKantipur