Nepal, India agree to reduce height of Saptakoshi High Dam for improved safety and water management

saptakoshi high dam

KATHMANDU: Nepal and India have reached a consensus to reduce the height of the proposed Saptakoshi High Dam, a project that had been stalled for a considerable period. The decision to lower the dam height was reached with the aim of alleviating concerns about potential flooding among displaced or affected Nepali citizens.

During the 17th meeting of the Nepal-India joint expert team, convened to assess the Saptakoshi High Dam Multipurpose Project and the Sunkoshi Storage and Diversion Project in Biratnagar from October 9 to 11, both sides agreed to alter and reduce the dam’s height. The agreement was confirmed through an official statement by Nepal’s Ministry of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation.

The head of the Nepali team, Director General of the Electricity Development Department Chiranjeevi Chatout, explained, “It has been decided to reduce the dam’s height from the originally proposed 337 meters to 34.8 meters and conduct further project evaluations.”

The reduction in dam height will also result in a decreased hydropower generation capacity for the multipurpose project. The initial plan of generating 3000 MW is expected to be revised down to approximately 2300 MW.

The ministry emphasized that this decision took into account various factors, such as the region affected by the Saptakoshi project, activities in the upper Saptakoshi area, as well as social, environmental, and technical considerations.

Nepal’s proposal to scale down the Saptakoshi high dam project aligns with the development of large storage hydropower projects in the tributaries of Saptakoshi, including the Tamor, Sunkoshi, and Dudhkoshi rivers.

The agreement to reduce the project’s scope, including dam height, aims to enhance water management and minimize potential environmental impacts.

Among the key projects in this context are the 756 MW Tamor Storage Hydroelectric Project on the Tamor River and the 635 MW Dudhkoshi Hydroelectric Project.

Additionally, there is a theoretical agreement between Nepal and Bangladesh to construct the 683 MW Sunkoshi 3 hydroelectric project. As part of this consensus, both nations have also concurred on the relocation of the proposed re-regulation barrage.

Fiscal Nepal |
Monday October 16, 2023, 12:26:17 PM |

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