Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project: Residents likely to receive compensation this week

- BIBEK SUBEDI, Kathmandu

Feb 16, 2017-The District Administration Office (DAO), Gorkha is likely to start distributing compensation to residents of three VDCs for their land taken over by the Budhi Gandaki Hydroelectric Project this week. 

The first round of payment will be made to 96 households of Ghyalchowk, Bhulmi and Darbung VDCs of the district, as per the DAO Gorkha. The 1,200 MW storage type scheme is being built on the Budhi Gandaki River.

Among the 400 compensation applications forwarded to the DAO Gorkha by the Budhi Gandaki Hydroelectric Project Development Committee, 96 have been verified by the Land Revenue and Survey offices; and both have given the green signal to the DAO to issue payment. 

The applicants have opened bank accounts with Rastriya Banijya Bank, and the DAO will deposit the compensation amount in their accounts after they transfer their title deeds to the project.  

As of now, around 700 households have submitted applications to the project development committee expressing their readiness to transfer their land to the project in return for compensation. The remaining 500 households are in the process of filling applications, according to the project development committee.  

The DAO has received Rs2.5 billion from the Finance Ministry to distribute compensation. “After making payment to the 96 households, we will continue distributing compensation to other households of the three VDCs,” said Jitendra Basnet, chief district officer (CDO) of Gorkha district. “It will take around a month and a half for us to distribute Rs2.5 billion to Gorkha locals.”

Likewise, the DAO Dhading, another project affected district, has received Rs2.5 billion from the Finance Ministry for compensation distribution. It has also started work to distribute compensation to landowners in Salang, Maidi and Khari VDCs in the district. 

Gopal Basnet, executive director of the project development committee, said compensation distribution would have been lot quicker if there was adequate human resources at the Land Revenue and Survey offices to process the documents. “Nevertheless, both DAOs are about ready to start issuing payment,” said Basnet. “And, it is a welcome move.” According to the project development committee’s estimates, the total cost of acquiring around 58,000 ropanis of land in 27 VDCs of Gorkha and Dhading districts will exceed Rs50 billion.

The compensation distribution committees of the two districts have fixed the compensation rate at Rs524,000 to Rs835,000 per ropani.

The land to be acquired by the project has been classified into five categories — paddy field, small farm land, land in market area, land adjoining a road and land near human settlements. Paddy fields and small farm lands have been further classed into four grades, with the compensation amount for the first grade being the highest.

According to the latest report by the project development committee, more than 8,000 households will be affected by the project.

The reservoir of the storage project will completely submerge 3,560 houses and the occupants will need to be resettled with proper compensation. Likewise, 4,557 households will be partially affected, and they will require appropriate compensation.

Published: 16-02-2017 09:43

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