By Smita Adhikari Pokhara, Sept. 14: Locals living around the Begnas Lake in Pokhara, Kaski district, have objected to the high voltage solar wires stretched above their houses. They have argued that the poles of the solar were erected near their house. The Rupa Solar Company has erected some 300 solar wire poles in the area.
The NEA had opened tender for the solar production project three years ago, and the company was offered the job. They also demanded that the solar poles as well as wires be set up only after consulting with locals.
The company targets to produce 4 MW solar electricity in Kaski connecting the lines to the Kaligandaki Electricity Substation located at Arghau in Pokhara Metropolis -27. The locals have formed a 'Struggle Committee' to protest against the project as almost 200 households have felt unsafe after the solar lines pass parallel to the electricity wires just above their houses.
“Our major concern is that a few newly erected poles have collapsed, wires are broken which may cause an accident in our houses during rains and thunders," Krishna Prasad Dhakal, coordinator of the committee, said. According to the locals, they have frequently requested the company to manage the wires well since it began work. "But instead of heeding our request, it brought police personnel, political leaders and leading officials to threaten us," Hari Devi Adhikari, Chair of local Adarsha Tole Vikas Sanstha, said. Similarly, another local Bishnu Prasad Tiwari said, "We just want to have our full security before allowing the company to move ahead with its work.”
Chief of the Rupa Solar Company Engineer Shailendra Bhattarai said 33 KV wire has been set up here and the estimated cost of the project was Rs. 450 million. The solar production project has already been delayed by two years because of the objections from the locals, which has only increased the cost of the project.