Bhojpur locals protest hydel project seeking compensation

BHOJPUR: A committee of locals here has held a demonstration, putting forth a six-point demand including immediate compensation for the damage caused by the under-construction Eastern Hydropower Project in Pikhuwa Khola, Bhojpur.

The locals protested after the project, under construction for over six years affecting fertility of villagers' arable lands, did not pay any heed to their demands though the authorities were reported about consequences repeatedly, Rekh Bahadur Karki, coordinator of the committee said.

Karki, however, maintained that they were not against development works. “We have also informed the District Administration Office, Bhojpur about our demands,” he added.

The committee members have also warned that they would obstruct construction of the project if their demands were not met.

Their other demands include construction of two canals, halt to extraction of sand and pebbles from nearby areas of the land and 10 per cent of the project's share to locals, another member Shiva Kumar Karki said.

Since the hydropower project would be beneficial for the district, the local administration should coordinate to solve the problem, Parashuram Tiwari, coordinator of the Civil Society, Bhojpur said.

Families of Rekh Bahadur Karki, Shiva Kumar Karki, Nar Bahadur Tamand, Khadga Bahadur Lamichane, Chandra Devi Lamichane and Khadga Bahadur Tamang have been affected most by the project.

The project, on the other hand, said that compensation will be provided to the affected families, but the process is on hold due to technical issues.

“We will immediately hold a talk with the locals to solve the problem,” a member of the hydropower committee informed.