Speaking at a program in Pokhara last April, Madi village chief Bed Bahadur Gurung ‘Shyam’ had said, ‘Madi Hydro project to enter villages in the name of energy has not only spoiled the natural beauty.
It is going to cause disaster. ‘, Madi Hydropower project
He said that their rights were taken away when they did not coordinate with the local level when bringing hydro plan in the villages and came to an agreement ‘directly from above’. ‘Environmental Assessment Report (EIA) is not good under the pretext of generating electricity. We are the ones to bear the loss, ‘he said.
Less than three months after Gurung estimated that the damage would be caused by hydro, not only the Madi village but also the hydropower project has suffered huge losses from floods and landslides. Hydro operated and under construction in the village municipality has caused billions of rupees due to floods and landslides.
Five hydropower projects are currently underway in Madi village municipality. Of them, three are in operation, one is under construction and the road is being prepared starting next year.
Among the hydro projects in Madi, Upper Madi Hydropower Project (25 MW), Sickles Hydropower Project (13 MW) and Himalayan Hydropower Project (12 MW) were completed and came into operation.
The Super Madi Hydropower Project (44 MW) under construction was being prepared for operation from next year while the road was being prepared for the Majhune Hydropower Project.
However, three hydro plants that came into operation due to incessant rains since the onset of monsoon have been shut down for the time being. The rest of the plan is also uncertain due to flood damage.
The 44-megawatt Supermadi Hydro, which is being constructed to be operational from next year, has caused more than Rs 1 billion in damage. Pushpa Jyoti Dhungana, chairperson of the project, says that he is not able to go to the head office as the river is not flowing.
“Overall, more than 70 percent of the work was done. The workers were working accordingly, ‘said Dhungana,’ but the flood washed away everything. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
Dhungana said that the tipper, scythe, crusher plant and construction materials worth Rs 170 million used in the construction have all been spilled. He said that the initial estimate was Rs 500 million for the civil contractor, Rs 100 million for the hydro-mechanical and more than Rs 200 million for the electronic-mechanical.
The construction period is also expected to be extended after the floods cause damage. “Only by looking at the extent of damage caused by the floods can we say how long the construction will last. We will try our best to bring it into operation within 3 to 6 months, ‘said Dhungana.
The 12-and-a-half-megawatt Himalayan (Namarjung Madi) Hydro in operation has also suffered 80 percent damage. The project was connected to the central transmission line only in August. The power generation of the project has been stopped due to the flood damage.
“Our initial estimate is that the floods have caused 80 to 1 billion rupees damage to our hydro,” he said. The company’s chief executive officer Abhishek KC said, “The goods have to be completely replaced.” He informed that the plan has been put forward to re-operate within 4-5 months.
Madi village chairman Ved Bahadur Gurung ‘Shyam’ informed that the road of Majhune Hydropower Project, which is being dug with the intention of starting construction from next year, has been washed away by the floods. The project had dug 10 kilometers of road. That road was washed away by all the floods, ‘he said.
Madi village municipality has been without electricity for the past five days after the hydro project was closed due to floods and landslides. Village Municipality Chairman Gurung informed that the communication sector has also been disrupted due to lack of electricity.
‘The floods have damaged all the hydro. All the lights coming to the village have been stopped. There has been no electricity in the village since January 1. The phone has not been picked up, ‘Gurung said,’ I don’t know when it will be made. I have been living in such darkness for some time. ‘
The Sikles Hydropower Project was supplying electricity to Madi’s Sikles, Khilang and other villages. However, Gurung said that the village became dark after the power supply of the project was swept away.