‘Bheri-Babai diversion project to meet deadline’
In a bid to complete the project within the deadline, construction work of Bheri-Babai multipurpose diversion project has picked up pace.
The multipurpose project aims to construct 15-metre tall embankment at Chiple of Bheri-Ganga Municipality in Surkhet and divert the water of the Bheri to the Babai through a 12-kilometer tunnel. The diverted water will generate 48 MW and irrigate 51,000 hectare land in Banke and Bardiya districts.
Irrigation Department and China Oversees Engineering Group Ltd have signed an agreement to complete the project by March 15, 2019. The project has constructed road, dug the entry point of the tunnel and built the ring point. The project will also operate social and economic activities in the project-affected areas.
Similarly, a diesel plant of 4 MW has been set up and diesel storage with capacity of two lakh litres has been constructed. Graveling of the rural road, electrification for solar irrigation and canal repair work have been completed. The project’s senior division engineer Jagadishworman Shrestha said all the structures required prior to the construction were ready. Shrestha said tunnel boring machine would be arriving from China very soon. The machine is an advanced type and will be used for the first time in the country. The machine will be used to dig a 12-km tunnel in Chure hill located between Bheri and Babai rivers, added Shrestha.
He added that the irrigation department had launched the project as it would have less environmental impact and less loss on the embankment site. The project requires acquiring 30 hectare land at the dyke site. “Since it is a project of national pride, we are working to complete it within the deadline,” Shrestha said.
The project is estimated to cost Rs 16 billion. It has no foreign investment and is estimated to give Rs 2.40 billion profit from irrigation and Rs 2 billion from the 48 megawatt of power generated in a year. As many as 286 Chinese and Nepali workers are employed in the project.