Compensation distribution for Budhigandaki hydel hindered

Dhading, January 30

Distribution of compensation for land to be seized for Budhigandaki Hydro Project has encountered roadblocks, thanks to the CDOs of Gorkha and Dhading.

After the district offices of Dhading and Gorkha refused to take the responsibility of distributing land compensation in their respective districts, compensation distribution has hit a snag.

Budhigandaki Hydro Project Concern Committee said that though the government had allocated Rs 10 billion for land compensation this fiscal, not a single penny was distributed till date.

The halt in land compensation has disrupted work on the project of national pride.

After notification for land reparation, as many as 2,120 persons from Gorkha and 1,250 from Dhading registered their applications for compensation.

But, CDOs of both the districts insisted that Budhigandaki Hydro Project Environment, Compensation Distribution, Rehabilitation Unit distribute the reparation. Six-hundred locals who applied for the reparation last year are yet to receive compensation.

The DAOs of Gorkha and Dhading had notified people of then three VDCs each to come to get the land reparation two months ago. People, however, are yet to receive compensation.

Dhading CDO Shyam Prasad Bhandari said his office had returned Rs 200 million to the rehabilitation unit of the hydro project. Gorkha CDO Jitendra Basnet said that his office would not distribute money this year, though it did last year.

Locals had picketed the office of Budhigandaki Hydro Project last Friday after the CDOs refused to hand over compensation demanding the money be distributed. The project has assured locals it would hold an-all party meeting and start distributing compensation pronto.

Focal person Joint Secretary Chiranjivi Chataut at the Ministry of Energy said an all-party meet among stakeholders was needed for compensation distribution.

The compensation has to be distributed to the then 14 VDCs of Gorkha and 13 VDCs of Dhading.