KATHMANDU: The local residents of Stiti Gumba of Jugal Rural Municipality-3 in Sindhupalchok District, vandalized and set on fire the 35 MW Nyasim River hydropower project office. Locals were enraged following the death of a local girl in Manebhanjyang Gumba on Monday due to a short circuit in the transmission line of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
The locals’ attack destroyed the residence, office building, construction equipment, and project materials. The electric line went short electrocuting the girl prompting a crowd of villagers to resort to vandalism and arson at project office.
Seven employees of the company were injured, and one of them is in serious condition. Six of the injured have returned home after treatment. The seriously injured employee, an engineer, is beingtreated at Thimi Hospital in Bhaktapur.
“After the local attack, the construction of the project has come to a complete halt,” Sitaram Timsina, chairman of promoter Sita Hydropower Company, said. Timsina also said all the employees were brought to the capital after it became unsafe to stay at the project site. “Now it is next to impossible to go to the project site,” said Timisina.
According to Timsina, the residences of the Armed Police Force and the project workers have been damaged due to vandalism. “They came in a large group and attacked the project site facilities. The buildings and the equipment of the hydropower project were damaged. Many workers fled the scene to save their lives,” he said.
According to the company, there was vandalism and an attack on the project unrelated to the incident due to the electrical accident that occurred on the power distribution line, which is 5 km away from the project.
The villagers vandalized the crusher machine, tripper, and excavator at the project site. The project has estimated that around Rs120 million worth of damage was caused by the attack, and it will take at least a year to resume the project. Due to this, production will be delayed by at least one year, said project officials.
So far, the project has progressed by 19 percent. After the death of a local girl in an electrical accident, the local residents got angry and attacked the under-construction hydropower project, said Laxman Dong Lama, the ward chairman of Jugal-3.
Lama said that he reached the site during the attack and was unable to stop the situation.