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Sunkoshi-2 Hydropower Project

Sunkoshi-II is a reservoir based project that constitutes one component of a wider Sunkoshi Marin Diversion Multi-Purpose Project1. It is currently in the planning stage, following a controversial history regarding its planning, funding, and impacts. The project continues to generate controversy now, due to the threat it poses to indigenous lands, and the unacceptable neglect performed by relevant government or independent actors regarding FPIC. This particular Dam is projected to be built in the Sidhulu and Ramechhap districts, and is expected to generate 4.76 billion units of energy. Upon its initial conception, partial funding agreements were made with the ADB, who also agreed to carry out <a href=”http://www.nepalenergyforum.com/adb-to-step-back-from-sunkoshi-2-and-3/”>feasibility studies and environmental impact assessments</a>. However, opposition to the project arose immediately from members of the Majhi people who live in the affected regions, make a living and have <a href=”https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/multipurpose-development-projects-threaten-submerge-majhi-indigenous-peoples-nepal”>historic cultural and medicinal ties to the river and the land</a>. Despite continuous protests from the Majhi community, the ADB only withdrew its funding for the project due to clashes with other infrastructure projects. The Japan International Cooperation Agency requested the project be stopped as the reservoirs would inundate the BP and Mid Hill Highways, which were being funded by the Agency. The ADB therefore requested only upon <a href=”https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/multipurpose-development-projects-threaten-submerge-majhi-indigenous-peoples-nepal”>protests from another corporate agency</a>, that alternatives be investigated. Distressingly, this only halted the procession of the project, as in 2019, <a href=”https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/nepal-bangladesh-agree-for-joint-investment-in-hydropower-projects-119062200831_1.html”>agreements were made at the Energy Secretary level meeting between Nepal and Bangladesh</a> whereby white papers proposing projects including Sunkoshi-II were accepted. It is anticipated that Bangladesh will invest $2 billion into various hydropower projects in Nepal, including the Sunkoshi II project, in return for energy generated by the projects once they are completed. This agreement was signed under the <a href=”https://thenepalweekly.com/2022/03/08/9855/”>BBIN initiative</a>. Currently, further investment is still being secured, however the project is anticipated to cost <a href=”https://www.nepalindata.com/media/resources/items/13/bSunkoshi-II-Storage-Hydroelectric-Project.pdf”>$1027 million<a/>. The owner of the Sunkoshi-II project is the Nepal Electricity Authority.

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References:
  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/359159134_Simulation_of_Trade-Off_among_Planned_Reservoir_Projects_and_Inter-Basin_Transfer_Project_A_Case_Study_of_Sunkoshi_River_in_Koshi_Basin_Nepal[]

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