Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project Limited (UTHPL), which was affected by the recent earthquake and the landslides, have fallen into crisis, as contractors and project staff have not returned to work.
Project staff, contractor firms and laborers had left the project site after the devastating earthquake of April 25 and subsequent landslides triggered by the aftershocks. All four foreign contractors of the project have returned their workers back to their respective countries.
The earthquake has destroyed eight buildings of the project. The army camp set up at the project site is also buried in the landslide, while different sections of the 11-kilometer road leading to the project site have been damaged.
Similarly, floods in Tamakoshi River have swept away many trucks of the contractors as well as Bailey bridge built over Gongar River along the project site. Recurring floods have also left locals terrified.
Ganesh Neupane, spokesperson of the project, told Republica that Tamakoshi was still eroding the roads in around the project site.
Works in the project have been halted for the past three months after contractors left the project due to the earthquake and landslides. Even the company has called back its project staff to its central office in Kathmandu. “As landslides and floods are still occurring, we have recalled our staff members to Kathmandu. Only a few staff members have been left at the project site,” Project Chief Bigyan Prasad Shrestha told Republica.
The earthquake and landslides have also damaged transmission lines, its pylons and wires worth millions of rupees. The dam area has sunk by 17 centimeters after the earthquake.
“One side of the dam area has sunk. But it can be repaired,” said Shrestha.
While the roads damaged by the quake and landslides have been repaired to ferry relief supplies, officials say it needs to be rehabilitated before the project works resume. Officials of the project estimate that the earthquake and the subsequent natural disasters have inflicted loss worth more than Rs 1 billion on the project.
“It is hard to estimate the exact figures. We will make necessary assessment of the loss very soon,” Shrestha said.
‘WE WILL WAIT TILL MONSOON’
Officials of the UTHPL have said that they will wait till the end of the monsoon to begin the works. “Since there is danger of flood and landslides during the monsoon, we will wait till the end of the monsoon to resume construction works,” said Ganesh Neupane, spokesperson of the UTHPL, told Republica.
UTHLPL’s Project Chief Bigyan Prasad Shrestha also said that the project was preparing to resume construction works only after the monsoon. Shrestha also also said that they will make claims from the project’s insurer for damages made to the project by the earthquake, landslides and floods.