The contractor of the 132kV Kole-Gulu-Nebbi-Arua power transmission project has raised a red flag over frequent land acquisition disputes.
The project worth more than 17 Billion Shillings which commenced in August 2020 is being implemented by KEC International Limited (India) and a joint venture of AVIC International Holding Corporation and Central Southern China Electric Power Design Institute Company Limited.
The project involves the construction of a 132 kV transmission line over a total length of 314 km, linking the existing Lira substation, which will be expanded. Three new substations will also be established in Gulu, Nebbi, and Arua.
According to the latest status report of the project, of the 510 towers that are expected to be erected from Olwiyo sub-station to Arua substation, only 174 towers have so far been completed. Meanwhile, 213 foundations have also been completed.
While giving an update on the status of the transmission line works on Monday at a joint stakeholder meeting at the Arua substation construction site in Muni, Rahul Ganapathi, the site engineer of the project says land acquisition disputes have forced them to skip some locations.
Records at Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) indicate, that a total of 359 people were affected. Of those, more than 200 have been compensated.
Hiranmoy Talukdar, the consultant of the project says that the land acquisition disputes have greatly affected their progress in installing the towers.
According to Talukdar, the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited should expedite the process of resolving the land acquisition disputes if the deadline of August is to be achieved.
The transmission project once completed will tap electricity from Karuma, Agago, and Nyagak dams to West Nile and parts of Northern Uganda and link these areas to the national grid.
Edward Muteesa, in charge of land acquisition at the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, says they are working closely with the local leaders in the affected areas to address the disputes.
The construction of the Kole-Gulu-Nebbi-Arua 132kV Transmission Line Project was launched by President Yoweri Museveni in October 2020. It is being funded by the World Bank after the government borrowed a $100 million loan.
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