Kathmandu [Nepal]: As many as three explosions hit Arun-III hydropower project, a 900-megawatt power plant being built with Indian assistance in Sankhuwasabha District of Nepal on Thursday night.
Police Inspector of the district Rameshwor Pandit confirmed the news.
“A total of three bombs exploded at the power plant of the hydel project located in Pukhuwa of Chichila Rural Municipality-03 of the district. The group behind the blast is yet to be identified,” Pandit told ANI over the phone.
A boomer used to drain out the water from the tunnels and the generators operated for the construction has been damaged in the blast, the police said.
Following the incident, Chief District Officer Ganesh Bahadur Adhikari and Deputy Superintendent of Police at the District Police Office Shyam Saru Magar rushed to the site to take stock of the situation.
Security has been beefed up near the power plant and the area has been cordoned off.
The foundation stone of the 900-MW power plant was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli last year.
The estimated cost of the project stands at US$ 1.04 billion and is scheduled to be completed within five years. When operational, the power plant will produce 4,018.87 million units of electricity a year.
The project is being developed on a build-own-operate and transfer (BOOT) basis by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) through its wholly-owned subsidiary SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company (SAPDC).
The SJVN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the execution of the project with the Government of Nepal in March 2008.
The SJVN will operate the power plant for a concession period of 30 years, following which the ownership will be transferred to the Nepal government. The plant will provide 21.9 per cent of free power to Nepal during the concession period.
The power plant project is expected to pump in billions of foreign direct investment into Nepal and create jobs for thousands of people.