The construction work relating to the Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project (BBDMP) has been adversely affected due to the ongoing lockdown. As a result, the contract to be awarded for the construction of gate and penstock pipe under the Project has been scrapped before it is mature.
The contract would bear the amount of over Rs 2 billion which included construction of a bridge in the dam and six penstock pipes. The tunnel digging of the Project, however, had been finished one-year ahead of the originally set deadline but now other remaining works have been obstructed due to lockdown. The Project is first-of-its-kind inter-basin water transfer project in the country to provide round the year irrigation facility in the mid-western areas of the country. The Department of Water Resources and Irrigation scrapped the tender taking into consideration the lockdown and COVID-19 crisis. Five companies were interested to take up the job.
Project’s senior divisional hydro-geologist and information officer Krishna Prasad Upadhyay reasoned that the contract was scrapped since there was no possibility for continuing construction works during the lockdown and the company awarded with contract could demand compensation. Currently works related to civil constructions have been continued in the Project albeit slowly while all works related to hydro mechanical have not progressed an inch, according to Upadhyay. The estimated cost for this national pride project also aiming at generating electricity is Rs 33.1 billion. BBDMP has completed a total of 39.4 percent of the construction work so far and has recorded 31.60 per cent financial progresses. It is expected to be completed by fiscal year 2022/23.