Nepal | January 20, 2020

Locals threaten to disrupt hydel projects

Himalayan News Service

Ramechhap, November 12

Residents of the affected areas of two under-construction hydropower projects on Likhukhola that flows between Ramechhap and Solukhumbu districts have threatened to disrupt construction if their demands are not fulfilled.

The populace in affected areas of the under-construction Likhu-1 and Likhu-2 hydropower projects had submitted an eightpoint demand to MV Dugad Hydropower, a company developing the projects, about a week ago.

Now, they have warned that they will be forced to disrupt the work of projects unless their demands are met by November 16.

On behalf of the locals, Ramechhap’s Umakund Rural Municipality Ward No 1 Chairperson Nurbu Sherpa had submitted demands to the hydropower developer with 65 signatures of locals, warning of an agitation from the second half of November if their demands weren’t met by then.

The demands include free electricity to all the settlements in the ward, priority to locals for employment on the basis of qualification, upgradation of roads in the ward and support for education and health and drinking water in the ward. Further, they have also sought 20 per cent share of both the projects for locals.

The recent agitation threat comes not long after a compensation-related dispute here was resolved through an all-party meeting.

Umakunda Rural Municipality Vice-chairperson Urmila Karki Basnet, on her part, accused the projects of trying to move ahead without seeking cooperation of the rural municipality and blamed the project for multiple issues arising one after another.

Ramechhap Chief District Officer Lila Kumari KC Pande, however, disavowed any knowledge of the locals’ protest.

The locals have, however, said that they had informed the district administration and rural municipality about their demands.

The hydropower developer had started construction work of the projects three years ago.

While Likhu 1 is a 70MW project, 55MW will be produced from Likhu-2.

A version of this article appears in print on November 13, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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