DPR integration to complete by March

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu

Jan 31, 2016- Wapcos India Limited, which has been assigned the task of integrating the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Pancheswar Multipurpose Project, is likely to complete the job within March 2016, Nepai and Indian officials have said.
With the two countries expediting the project’s development—almost two decades after it was first conceived—Wapcos was in 2013 asked to upgrade the project’s data and integrate them.
“The DPR of Pancheswar is almost ready. Wapcos will complete the report by March,” Indian Power Secretary Pradeep Kumar Pujari said. “Once the DPR gets ready all necessary actions will be taken.”
He said Nepal has a huge hydropower potential which needs to be tapped, and that the completion of the mega multipurpose project will help enhance power cooperation between the two neighbours.
Wapcos was awarded the contract based on the first meeting of the Governing Council of the project co-chaired by energy secretaries of the two countries held in Kathmandu in September 2014.The company was asked to complete the task within six months. However, it started the work only in April 2015 and the completion deadline was revised to October 2015.
Nepal and India had prepared two separate DPRs around two decades ago. As there had been no progress after that, there is a need for verifying the data. Several crucial aspects, including geology and construction techniques, have changed over the period. The aspects can be analysed after the data is upgraded and integrated.
“Wapcos is working closely with us, and going by the progress it has made so far, it seems it will conclude the task within March,” Mahendra Bahadur Gurung, chief executive officer of Pancheswar Development Authority told the Post.Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, which had been in limbo for the last two decades, regained momentum after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal in August 2014. Addressing the Nepali Parliament, Modi had declared the project would begin within a year.
Situated on the banks of the Mahakali River on the Nepal-India border, the project is expected to generate 6,720MW electricity. It will also irrigate 93,000 hectares of land in Nepal and 1.6 million hectares in India. Nepal and India had agreed to construct the project in February 1996, during the signing of the Mahakali Treaty.

Governing Council meet next week

 The Governing Council of Pancheswar Development Authority (PDA) is likely to meet in Kathmandu next week. Although the meeting was scheduled to be held on the second week of January, it was cancelled at the last hour, citing emergency reasons. Addressing a event in Kathmandu  on Friday, Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said the meeting would take place this week. PDA CEO Mahendra Bahadur Gurung also said the meeting would be held in February, but he did not specify the date. “We are working with the Indian side to set a date. We will set a date within next one or two days,” Gurung said. The meeting is expected to discuss a number of issues, including the authority’s institutional arrangement, its budget for the upcoming fiscal year and the status of Wapcos Limited, an Indian company assigned to upgrade the data for the integration of two detailed project reports (DPRs) prepared separately by Nepal and India.
Energy Secretary Suman Prasad Sharma will lead the Nepali side, while secretary of India’s Water Resource Ministry Shashi Shekhar will head the Indian side in the meeting. The two secretaries are also co-chairs of the governing council.

Published: 31-01-2016 09:29

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