My Republica, August 05, 2020
KATHMANDU: The projects under Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) achieved 81.23 percent financial and 82.29 percent physical progress in the last fiscal year 2019/20. Power generation, transmission and distribution projects are being carried out by the authority.
Of the Rs 58.4 billion allocated for the projects run by the government and NEA, Rs 47.14 billion was spent. Of the total allocation, 92 percent was allotted for the improvement and upgradation of the distribution lines to provide reliable and quality services to the consumers and increase access to electricity, under which it has attained one hundred percent physical progress.
NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising said that the overall financial and physical progress despite the projects being affected by COVID-19, is encouraging. “Procedural hurdles in the forest lands, land acquisition, obstruction in transmission and distribution lines were the common problems that the projects faced. They were also affected due to the COVID-19 impact on the country since the last four months,” he said on Monday. “We were able to move forward with the project after the government decided to resume the construction of projects during lockdown by adopting safety measures.” He mentioned that the Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barshaman Pun and other stakeholders facilitated and supported the work. “Construction of some projects has been completed whereas some are in the final phase,” he further added.
Stating that the COVID-19 had impacted the completion of projects, he said the projects could have recorded more physical and financial progress. According to NEA, Rs 5.53 billion of the total Rs 7.80 billion allocated for the power projects was spent in the last fiscal year. Construction, maintenance and other works fall under the production work of NEA. A total of 15 projects of the private sector were completed and 135 MW electricity was linked to the national grid last year.
The NEA is conducting a detailed study of 1,061 MW Upper Arun, 635 MW Dudhkoshi, Upper Modi A and Tamakoshi fifth hydropower projects. Of the Rs 1.95 billion allocated for the study of projects, the authority has mobilized only 26.48 percent. The physical progress of these projects is 33.39 percent. Ghising said that the study of the projects has been affected due to COVID-19.