Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Plant has begun distribution of compensation for private land acquired. However, the decisions regarding the modality of the plant and the contractor of the project haven’t been made yet.
Though the initial plan was to fix the capacity of the hydropower at 1200 MW, experts are still discussing on whether to decrease its capacity to 800 MW to avoid risk of inundation of Khahare, Aarughat and Arkhet market areas.
Project Chief of Reconstruction and Resettlement Unit Krishna Bahadur Karki said that authorities have reached the final stage of distribution of the compensation amount. Among the 85,153 hectare land to be acquired in Gorkha and Dhading, compensation for 42,700 hectare land has already been provided.
Karki stated the compensation distribution will be completed by the end of this fiscal year. Compensation for approximately 25,500 hectare land is yet to be given.
The works for handing over compensation, land evaluation, measurement, registration cancellation, and grievance handling have been hampered as the Ministry of Energy has failed to recruit staffers at the project office to carry out the responsibilities of Survey Office and Land Revenue Office.
“If the land compensation of market area is not fixed, the compensation distribution shall come to an end for the time being,” the project chief stated, adding: “We have been compiling list of houses and cowsheds as well as collecting complaints and addressing them.”
Except for Khahare in Dhading, compensation has already been distributed in Borlang, Dhawa, Tandrang, Ghyalchol, Durbung, Phujel, Namjung, and Bungkot. The project office is rapidly collecting details of houses and cowsheds along with distributing compensation and settling the 1000 registered complaints.
Project chief Karki said that they are also working on resettling the displaced villages. The project plans on resettling the displaced people in the same wards where they used to reside. As the project office hasn’t fixed the markets area, locals are agitated. Banking services haven’t been carried out for the past four years and business expansion hasn’t taken place in the area. Locals claim this has decreased their income.