Dhading, November 27

Preparations are under way to fix compensation for the land to be affected by Budhigandaki Hydropower Project at Gorkha’s Arughat bazaar and Aarkhet, and Dhading’s Khahare bazaar within a week.

Though compensation for the majority of the land to be affected by the hydropower project has already been distributed, affected locals have been agitating at Gorkha’s Aarughat and Aarkhet, and Dhading’s Khahare bazaar demanding that the land affected by the project be repaired.

Heeding the calls of locals, the Ministry of Energy, Water Resource and Irrigation has written to Budhigandaki Hydropower Project’s Environment, Compensation Distribution, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Unit directing it to coordinate with the agencies concerned to determine the compensation as early as possible.

Unit Chief Krishna Bahadur Karki said preparations were under way to finalise the compensation at the earliest. “We are preparing to hold talks with the stakeholders and finalise the compensation within a week,” Karki stated.

Local representatives and affected locals have been agitating with the demand that compensation be fixed and distributed at the earliest.

As part of their agitation, they are staging sit-in at the Gorkha and Dhading DAOs and the project office. Federal and provincial lawmakers of Gorkha and Dhading, former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai, among others, have expressed solidarity with the agitation

Failure to fix compensation for the land that has been blocked from selling and buying since 2016 has hit the locals hard. The government has  yet to fix the compensation for 1,770 ropani land.