Melamchi-affected Kavre residents threaten stir

Himalayan News Service

Dhulikhel, January 20:

The residents in the areas affected by the Melamchi Drinking Water Project in Kavre are planning to launch an agitation if the project did not meet their 10-point demand by January 23. The Melamchi Drinking Water Project-affected monitoring committee, Kavre, has given an ultimatum to the project authorities to meet the demands, the major demand being compensation and resettlement. The committee said no action was taken on their applications registered separately at the district administration office on November 23, and and at the project’s office on July 14, 2003 and November 24, 2004.

The project has compensated the projected-affected people in Sindhupalchowk’s Melamchi bazaar, Maghi and other VDCs. The committee accused the project authorities of ignoring pleas of residents of Daisithok, Chandeni, Mahadevsthan, Mandan and Gairibisauna Deupur in Kavre district, in which the project has requisitioned land for the construction of Melamchi-access road. It also accused them of identifying only 14 VDCs in Sindhupalchowk as the affected areas, while Kavre’s Fatakshila, Bansbari, Bhimtar, Shikharpur and others are also affected by the project.

At an interaction organised by the committee in Dhulikhel yesterday, the landowners affected by the project expressed dissatisfaction over the decision of the authorities not to compensate them. They complained that their landwas requisitioned for Melamchi-access road but they did not get compensation.

Deputy director of the project, Suman Sharma, said, of the Rs 20 million compensation amount, over Rs 18 million has already been handed over to DDC. While, public relations officer of the project Sunil Devkota said 61 per cent of the compensation has been disbursed and the rest will be distributed only after study.