Kathmandu, August 11
Citing that Huaxin Cement Narayani Pvt Ltd had not yet conducted the initial environmental examination (IEE) of its cement plant and had not followed the terms and conditions of the agreement, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament has directed Rorang Village Municipality of Dhading to cancel the land lease pact with the company.
A meeting of PAC today has approved a sub-committee’s report that has recommended the cancellation of the land lease deal that the local government signed with the Nepal-China joint venture cement factory that is under construction.
Roj Raj Pandey, secretary at PAC, said the committee has directed the concerned local body to cancel the 50-year land lease agreement for 169 ropanis of land. The factory is being built on 500 ropanis of land for which the joint venture has already acquired the remaining land from locals.
Pandey further said that PAC has also directed the government not to allow the company to build an access road until the firm submits a detailed project report (DPR) and environmental impact assessment (EIA).
Earlier, the locals had alleged that the company had not paid compensation for the land that it had utilised to erect electricity poles and transmission line.
The PAC has directed the company to pay proper land compensation to the locals and secure the land along the local stream that had wreaked havoc during the recent monsoon. The parliamentary body has also asked the company to shift the factory site to a safer location.
On July 21, a sub-committee led by Nepal Communist Party (NCP)’s lawmaker Lekh Raj Bhatta, recommended that the public land rented to Huaxin Cement Narayani for 50 years should be vacated.
The issue related to the IEE came to the attention when the recent floods caused damages worth more than one billion rupees at the proposed construction site of the cement company.
Earlier, the sub-panel had suggested the PAC to direct the government to take necessary action against those officials who were involved in signing the lease agreement.
However, the committee has not spoken anything about what action needs to be taken against the erring government staffers.
Huaxin Cement Narayani is the second Nepali-Chinese joint venture in domestic cement industry after Hongshi-Shivam Cement. The firm is preparing to build its plant on 500 ropanis of land at Panikharka of Dhading.
Chinese investor Huaxin Central Asia Investment (Wuhan) Co Ltd will operate Huaxin Cement Narayani Pvt Ltd. The company will come into operation as per the agreement reached between Nepal and China — to establish a cement factory with investment of Rs 15 billion — during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to China in 2018.
The company has set a target to produce 3,000 tonnes of cement in the first phase.
It has also been reported that the company will utilise local raw materials.
A version of this article appears in print on August 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.