Locals ban MDWP vehicles

Kavre, August 23:

The vehicles belonging to the Melamchi Drinking Water Project have stopped plying on the Helambu highway following protests from the locals demanding reasonable compensation for their lands acquired by the project. The MDWP-Affected Area Monitoring Committee yesterday decided to bar the project vehicles from entering the areas from today. A meeting of the affected locals at Kuntabesi on August 13 had decided to deny entry to the project vehicles in the 23-km road from Zero Kilo at Kavre’s Panchkhal to Melamchi bazaar unless they were paid reasonable compensation. The dispute between the project and the locals is on for the last two years. A meeting yesterday between the project and the locals in Kathmandu failed in to reach an accord on compensation. The locals have been demanding appropriate compensation to those whose land was acquired by the project. Another of their demands is that the project pay Rs 1 million every year to 53 VDCs affected by the project.

While the project has declared only 14 VDCs as affected areas and only 78 per cent affected people have received compensation, the amount paid to them too was not satisfactory, the locals said.