Charikot, Mar. 26: The construction work of 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydel Project is continuous despite the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown decision of the government to control it. Director of Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project Dr. Ganesh Neupane said that ongoing work of the project had not been affected significantly due to the fear of coronavirus and lockdown decision of the government. Neupane said that work of the project was in progress with high safety alert of coronavirus. Currently, the project is conducting the test of dam and head works. Workers and technicians of the project, who are from Nepal, China and Italy, are continuously working in the project before the problem of coronavirus case, therefore there is no problem there to continue the works, he said. Currently around 400 workers and technicians are working in the project. Chinese company Sino Hydro is doing civil works, Austrian company Andries is handling electro-mechanical engineering and two companies Texmaco Railway and KEC are handling hydro-mechanical and sub-station and extension line works respectively. All three contractors except KEC are mobilizing their workers currently. However, Neupane, who is also spokesperson of the project, said that workers had not been forced to work in the project and contractor could stop the work at any time if problems surfaced. Neupane said that the project had managed place for 14-day isolation to workers who come from outside. Although the works of contractors have not been affected, works of consultant companies in the project have been affected, Neupane said. He said that consultant experts and technicians were directing their works, he added. For the safety of workers working in the project, the project has restricted visitors to the project areas from Sunday. In aggregate 99.4 per cent works of the project has been completed so far. Currently the works of chemical grouting in the main tunnel is in progress when congregate lining works reach the end. Similarly, installation of penstock pipes in 310 metre long upper vertical shaft and 373 metre penstock pipe in lower vertical shaft are also in progress. The time project completion is being postponed time and again due to delay in conducting the complex works of penstock pipe installation. So far, 156 metre pipe installation in upper vertical shaft and 260 metre in lower vertical shaft have been completed, Neupane said. Works of power house and extentsion line of the project have already been completed, he said, adding that electricity production from the first unit will begin by mid-July. Initially, the estimated cost of the project was Rs 49 billion; it is now estimated to be Rs 72 billion due to delay in project works and devaluation of the domestic currency.