Underground wiring halted owing to dubious role of DoR: Ghising

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By Bishnu Pandey, Dec. 4: Managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Kul Man Ghising has blamed that the dubious role played by the Department of Roads has forced the halting of the underground wiring project.

He said that the work done by NEA to bring to life the concept of not only a clean city but also a smart city is impacted by the activities of the director general of the Department of Roads and some employees.

The work of fixing underground wires has been stopped since October.

Addressing the inauguration programme of fixing the smart roadside light, jointly organized by Lalitpur Metropolitan City and the NEA last Friday, Ghising objected to the halt that has been observed in fixing the underground wires. He urged the government to play a coordinating role.

He said, “We have received aid from ADB in undergrounding the wire, but, the work could not be done in three districts of the valley because of a lack of permission and consent from the road department. It has been halted for the last seven months. It has come to a situation where contractors are trying to leave the job.”

As a large-scale project is being implemented, if the people representatives would play the coordinating role with the Department of Road, then it can still be completed as it has some time left for it.

The rural municipality has permitted to work on footpaths but the Department of Road has not permitted it.

The Director General said, “It costs 10 times more to put wire underground than to put on the ground level. Many things can come up while digging underground. We were on to complete the work by coordination even though it possessed some difficulty in implementation, however, it was denied by the Department of Road.”

To organize the electricity distribution system the NEA was divided into different phases. The work was started in the areas under Ratnapark and Maharajgunj as the first phase.

In the second phase, the underground wiring was started in the remaining parts of Kathmandu. Underground wire fixing was initiated in Bhaktapur and some parts of Lalitpur in the second phase. In the fourth phase, the work of undergrounding the distribution system under Pokhara and Bharatpur Metropolitan City was started.

 Department of Road: No hindrance from our side

The Department of Roads said that no obstacle has been made by them for the underground wiring work.

Spokesperson of the Department of Roads, Ram Hari Pokharel, said that there is no hindrance from our side in the underground wiring project of NEA.

He said, “We have not created any obstacle amidst the work of NEA and it is not our purpose.”

He said, “The potholes dug by NEA for fixing underground wires were left unattended but the blame came on us. So, we raise the deposit from 20 per cent to 50 per cent.”

The deposit is to be made by the contractor company. NEA does not have to bear any burden. But, the NEA refuses to understand it.

The main aim of the Department of Roads is to see that there are no potholes due to underground wiring, he said.

 

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