Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project: 62 Percent Completed

August 10, 2023 | Investopaper

The overall progress of the Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project, Project of National Pride, has reached 62 percent. Initiated in the year 2071, the project outlines reveal that 38 percent of the remaining tasks are projected to be finalized within the upcoming three years.

This ambitious undertaking encompasses dual primary objectives. Firstly, it aims to yield a robust power output of 46 MW. Secondly, the project is geared to furnish irrigation facilities across an expanse of 51 thousand hectares in the agrarian domains of Banke and Bardiya, situated within the Lumbini province.

The project blueprint entails erecting a dam on the Bheri River at Chipley within the Bheriganga Municipality of Surkhet. Subsequently, water from the Bheri will be channeled through a tunnel to merge with the Babai River, demarcating the boundary between Surkhet and Bardiya.

At present, construction activities are concentrated on the civil aspects, including the dam and power house, where 45 percent of the work has been successfully executed. Progress has been marked in hydromechanical (25 percent) and electromechanical (12 percent) components as well.

The project’s foundation was laid by former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Chaitra 19, 2071 B. Embodied with local investments, the project is estimated to cost 36.8 billion rupees for its entire completion. Financial progress has reached 54 percent.

The government had started the project with the plan of discharging 40 cubic meters of water per second from Bheri river into Babai river to provide 12 months irrigation facility to 51,000 hectares of land in Banke and Bardiya by completing the project. It also aims to generate 46.8 MW of electricity.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to build the Bheri-Babai Diversion Multipurpose (Irrigation / Hydropower) project in the company model. The Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation has decided to build the company model under the people’s hydropower program. A public company named ‘Bheri-Babai Diversion Hydropower Company’ will be established under the ownership of the Government of Nepal.

The revised cost of project construction is Rs. 36.8 billion. Of which, 40 percent will be invested for civil construction, 35 percent for tunnel construction, 2 percent for tunnel construction consultancy services and 11 percent for electromechanical construction and connection.

Twelve months after the completion of the project, indirect benefit of Rs. 3.10 billion can be reaped from the availability of irrigation to increase agricultural production. Similarly, a direct benefit of Rs 3.23 billion (at the rate of Rs 8.4 per unit) from electricity is estimated which totals to Rs 6.33 billion annually.

For the Bheri Babai Diversion Hydropower Project, the government investment will be 51 percent with 26 percent from the central government, 20 percent from the Karnali state government and 5 percent from the concerned local level. The structure has been prepared with 29 percent investment from the general public, 10 percent from the general public in Karnali and 10 percent from the residents of the project affected areas.

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