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PM Dahal inaugurates breakthrough of Sunkoshi Marin Diversion tunnel

B360 May 8, 2024, 2:18 pm
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KAMALAMAI, SINDHULI: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal inaugurated the breakthrough of Sunkoshi Marin Diversion Multipurpose Project's tunnel in Sindhuli district today.

Prime Minister Dahal conducted the 'breakthrough' amidst a programme at Kanadhungri in Sunkoshi Rural Municipality-7 in the district.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal addresses Sunkoshi Marin Diversion Multipurpose Project's tunnel breakthrough ceremony at Kanadhungri in Sunkoshi Rural Municipality-7, Sindhuli district, on May 8, 2024. Photo: RSS

Following the activation of the tunnel boring machine (TBM) switch by the Prime Minister, the machine, which had commenced excavation from Kusumtar of Kamalamai Municipality-2, emerged from the other end at Kanadhungri on the bank of the Sunkoshi River. 

The tunnel, extending 13.3 km from Kusumtar in Kamalamai Municipality-2 to Kanadhungri in Sunkoshi-7, represents a remarkable engineering feat.

Project Chief Mitra Baral announced that they have successfully achieved the breakthrough a year ahead of the planned schedule. The tunnel was completed in 19 months from the commencement of the excavation. 

According to Baral, up to 72 metres of the tunnel was excavated in a single day. The excavation work started on October 14, 2022. However, the progress was interrupted six times due to dry landslides and mudslides inside the tunnel, which hindered the advancement of the TBM machine.

The tunnel, with a diameter of 5.5 metres (m), was constructed using high-quality segments and cutting-edge technology. A dam, 30m high and 158m long, will be erected across the Sunkoshi River at Kanadhungri. The water from the dam will be directed through the tunnel to the Marinkhola stream at Kusumtar.

At Kusumtar, the water will be released through a penstock pipe from a height of 66m to generate 31.07 megawatts of electricity. 

The contract for the construction of the tunnel was awarded to the Chinese construction company, China Overseas Engineering Group. This company had previously carried out the tunnel construction work of the Bheri Babai Diversion Project.

Project Chief Baral informed that China Overseas Engineering Group Co Ltd, also known as COVEC, was awarded the contract worth Rs 10.05 billion exclusively for the tunnel excavation. 

The project aims to provide irrigation water and generate electricity for the five districts of the Madhesh Province all year round. In addition to power generation, the main objective of the project is to provide irrigation facilities for 122,000 hectares in the Tarai districts of Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, and Dhanusha, utilising the infrastructure of the Bagmati irrigation project.

The total cost of the project is Rs 49.42 billion.


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MAY 2024

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