Jyamire locals demand fair land compensation

- MADHAV ARYAL, PALPA
Hongshi-Shivam Cement, a Nepal-China joint venture, is building a cement factory at Sardi in Nawalparasi district

Dec 2, 2016-Residents of Jyamire have prevented technicians from Hongshi-Shivam Cement from working at the mine site located in the village claiming that the company had disregarded their grievances.

Hongshi-Shivam Cement, a Nepal-China joint venture, is building a cement factory at Sardi in Nawalparasi district. It has acquired a permit from the Department of Mines and Geology to extract limestone at Jyamire, Palpa. 

Locals said they would not allow mining nor leave the village until the company offered fair compensation. 

“Chinese technicians are currently in the village. We will not let them work until our demands are met,” said Hum Bahadur Saaru, secretary of a local concern committee. Around 32 households in three village development committees in Jyamire will be displaced by the mining project. 

The mine is spread over a 10-km radius and covers Jyamire 4, 6 and 8 VDCs. A preliminary survey conducted by Chinese technicians has shown that the limestone deposits will last at least 80 years. 

Saaru said that the company had not been listening to the locals who will be displaced by the project. “We don’t have big demands. All we have asked the company is to provide the same amount of land in Sardi.” 

“However, the company is reluctant to provide fair compensation. It has been sticking to the compensation rate set by the government.” He said that the meagre rate fixed by the government was not enough for them to survive on, and so they couldn’t leave their villages. 

Locals said that the company, when it was doing a survey of the mining site, had promised to provide replacement land in Sardi equivalent in size to what they would be losing in Jyamire.

Based on that commitment, we had allowed the company to conduct a survey, they said. “But now, the company is saying that it cannot provide replacement land in the Tarai equivalent in size to their holdings.” 

Chief District Officer Baburam Gautam said that the problem could be resolved only if locals and the company are on the same page. “Mining should be started only after locals are satisfied with the company’s offer.”   

China’s Hongshi Holding Group has invested Rs36 billion (70 percent) in the project. Its local partner has put up the rest of the capital.

The factory will have a capacity to produce 6,000 tonnes of cement per day and is expected to come online in 2017. The company plans to increase output to 12,000 tonnes in the next four years. The plant will require 80 MW of electricity to run at full capacity.

Published: 02-12-2016 08:23

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