NEA looks to complete Karnali Chisapani Hydropower Project within 9 years


KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 29 : A process for the study of the Karnali Chisapani Hydropower Project has been initiated by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). Dubbed as the largest hydel project in South Asia with a total capacity of 10,800 MW, its estimated cost is Rs 1.147 trillion.

A high-level team comprising Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Energy Secretary Sushil Chandra Tiwari, Director General of Department of Irrigation, Churna Bahadur Oli and NEA Executive Director Kulman Ghising carried out onsite visit of the project site as well as the project-affected site on December 25 and 26. The NEA moved the study process of the Karnali Chisapani Project forward to complete it in 9 years.

Locals are very excited after the government forwarded the study process, giving the project special importance. The talk of construction of this project has enthused the locals in the hope that it will continue the development of the construction of the Karnali Chisapani Bridge brought in west Nepal. Khadga BK, Chairperson of Panchapuri rural municipality, Surkhet, said they would provide meaningful cooperation to make the project successful. “We are excited to know about the news that such a mega project is being constructed in our area. We are exhilarated. We urge the federal government to move ahead with the process by addressing the justified demands of the locals,” he added.

The reservoir of the proposed project would be constructed nearly two kilometres above the Karnali Chisapani bridge that connects Bardiya and Kailali districts. The Karnali River would be dammed by constructing a 270-metre tall dam. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA)’s current study stated that it would be a ‘rock fill dam’. The reservoir would be 167 kilometres long – 100 kilometres on the Karnali River, 45 kilometres on the Bheri River, 16 kilometres on the Seti River, and six kilometres on the Thuligad River, according to NEA senior engineer Nasib Man Pradhan who was involved in the study.

The project will affect the settlements and structures located near the river in Bardiya, Kailali, Surkhet, Achham and Doti districts. As per a study conducted in 1989, the project will affect a total of 11,570 hectares of area and 54,600 locals. NEA said the affected area would be identified by studying the latest situation.