Nepal | September 22, 2020

Budhigandaki hydel-affected locals protest seeking compensation

 Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, November 19

Locals affected by the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project have announced protests citing delay in fixing the amount of compensation for their land.

They have announced protest activities after the project failed to determine the compensation amount for their land despite repeated requests. Gorkha and Dhading-based locals have said they will picket the district administration offices of Gorkha and Dhading on Thursday and Friday and picket the office of Budhigandaki Hydropower Project on Monday.

Dinesh Dhakal, coordinator of the protest programme, said that the locals were compelled to start protest activities as the project and government have failed to determine the compensation amount.

Though the project has distributed compensation amount for land in a number of places in Dhading and Gorkha, compensation amount in Arughat and Khahare bazaar area, among others, is yet to be determined and provided.

Locals said that they have approached the concerned authorities and political leaders, but to no avail. Around 11,000 households haven’t been compensated in Arughat and Khahare, as per them.

The project is ready to provide Rs 800,000 per ropani along the main road in densely populated areas, but the locals in the bazaar area have been demanding at least Rs 2,500,000 per ropani.

China Gezhouba Group Company Ltd of China is developing the 1,200-megawatt Budhigandaki Hydropower Project, a national pride project. The total cost to develop the project is estimated to be around Rs 300 billion. Reportedly a quarter of the estimated cost to construct the Budhigandaki project will be spent on compensating those likely to be displaced in Dhading and Gorkha districts due to inundation caused by the project.

The national pride project is likely to affect over 8,000 households in the two districts.

A version of this article appears in print on November 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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