An unidentified group detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) at the office of Arun-III Hydropower Project in Sankhuwasabha district on Sunday morning, The Kathmandu Post reports.
Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the project jointly during Modi’s Nepal visit (May 11-12).
The explosion carried at the Tumlingtar-based administrative building of the project caused minor damage to the compound wall, police said.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Santosh Khadka said surveillance has been heightened at Chainpur, Sabhakhola, Tumlingtar and the border points between Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur districts to capture the suspects. The office building was recently constructed. The office had been set up only a week ago.
A few months earlier, the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) had twice detonated IEDs at the project’s power house at Diding village in Chinchila Rural Municipality.
Police suspect that the latest attack was also perpetrated by the CPN cadres.
The 900MW Arun III Hydropower Project is being developed by the Indian government utility, Sutlej Jala Vidhyut Nigam.
The project is expected to complete within five years. The government of India has already released nearly $1 billion for the project that is expected to cost $1.4 billion by the time it is completed.