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Research of Uttarganga reservoir project in the final stage: Will 828 MW electricity beneficial for local people?

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The people of Dhorpatan and Nisikhola, who have been frustrated due to the Uttarganga Reservoir Project, which is a model project of Nepal, have regained hope. The study has reached the final stage of the Uttarganga Reservoir Hydropower Project to generate 828 MW of electricity. The people of Baglung are hopeful that the project will be completed while the geographical study of the site of the powerhouse in Nisikhola is underway. The project, which has been under study for five years, is being considered by the government as the largest and model project in Nepal.

The locals are hopeful as the construction work of the project has been delayed, and research has reached the final stage. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), which conducted a detailed environmental impact assessment two years ago, has now started a study using the drilling technology of an underground powerhouse to be built in Nisikhola. Although the locals were not interested in constructing the project at the beginning, the people of Dhorpatan and Nisikhola had facilitated the construction of the project after getting information about its benefits. 

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Local people view on Uttarganga reservoir project

Bhakta Bahadur BK of Navi village in Dhorpatan Municipality-9 informed that the people are now optimistic that the project will be built after the project has been repeatedly demanded to be built in Nisikhola.
“We are very confident that the project will be completed sooner or later,” BK said. “We are studying now, and the project will start in a few years. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has stated that the work of soil test has been started in Sampu of Nisikhola Village Municipality-5 Nisi village where the water of Uttarganga falls in Dhorpatan. 

According to NEA, the environmental impact assessment required before the detailed design was completed last year and now the condition of the construction site of the underground powerhouse is being studied, said NEA Director Ajav Singh Mahara.

Detailed design of the Uttarganga reservoir project is currently underway. According to NEA, the government of Nepal has been working continuously for the past six years to build the project in Nisikhola. Initially, the Ministry of Energy had some problems with the issue of selecting Nisikhola or Rukum, but NEA has stated that work is underway to build a powerhouse in Nisikhola. 

At present, the soil and stones are being tested by transporting required materials by helicopter to the Sampu of Nisikhola.  The site of the project’s dam was tested at five places in Dhorpatan Valley in Dhorpatan Municipality a few years ago. According to Ambikesh Kumar Jha, managing director of Uttarganga Power Company under the Uttarganga Reservoir Hydropower Project, the NEA conducted the study a week ago by delivering materials to the drilling site by helicopter.

“We have been moving the Uttarganga reservoir project forward continuously. The government has been continuously allocating budget for the work of the project,” said Jha. As this project will be the cheapest power generation project in Nepal, the government has taken it forward to work continuously. According to Jha, the project has stated information about the condition of the underground powerhouse will be collected by drilling within 330 meters from Sampu.

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The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has taken the license of the project to build a huge reservoir in Dhorpatan Valley and have a powerhouse in Nisikhola village municipality of Baglung district, and the project is currently undergoing technical study. 

NEA has stated that Uttarganga reservoir project is continuously under study and is in the final stage of the study. The people of Dhorpatan have been expressing confidence that the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, which is also the main choice of foreign adventure tourists, and the Uttarganga Reservoir Project will be more important and the river with reservoir will become a new attraction for tourists. 

Along with the tourists in and around Dhorpatan Valley, the dam will attract more tourists. However, some locals have been protesting against the project saying that the land they are using will be inundated and the beauty of Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve will be ugly. If the project, which is given high priority by the government, is successful, electricity can be exported.

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