Dhading, April 1
The much-awaited 1,200 MW Budhigandaki hydro power is most likely to displace 3,560 households and 8,117 families will be directly affected due to the hydel in Dhading, according to a report prepared by the project development committee.
According to the report, the project is likely to submerge 130,000 ropanis of land. At least 14 VDCs of Dhading and similar number of VDCs of Gorkha will be affected by the project. “The development committee has concluded that construction of the project should begin after resettling the affected families in others places and providing necessary compensation,” said Laxmi Prasad Devkota, chairperson of the committee.
Executive Director of the project Gopal Basnet said preparations are under way to receive fund from the budget of the new fiscal. “Once the rate of compensation is fixed, chief district officers of both districts will impose a ban on sale and purchae of land in the areas,” said Basnet.
Earlier, the hydro-project had estimated Rs 58 billion as compensation and half of the total compensation was supposed to be cleared within this fiscal. The government also had allocated Rs 2.9 billion for distribution of compensation. However, distribution has not started yet. The committee aims to complete the land appropriation, finalise how to distribute compensation, call tenders and starting construction within this fiscal. As per the plan, the project aims to generate hydro electricity by 2022.
The hydro project will generate 3.4 billion units electricity yearly in the summer season and 1.8 billion units in the dry season. This means Budhigandaki hydro project will be generating power worth around Rs 28 billion each year when calculated in terms of per unit power cost of Rs 8.23. The project is estimated to cost Rs 250 billion.
The Budhigandaki River flows through the border confluence of Dhading and Gorkha. A 263 metre high 48 kilometer long embankment will be constructed to manage the pond, which will be useful for irrigation in Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts as well.
A version of this article appears in print on April 02, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.