Locals halt Karnali embankment project

- KAMAL PANTHI, RAJAPUR (BARDIYA)

May 3, 2017-The Karnali River Control Project has halted over a land compensation dispute. The people living along the 3 km stretch to the west of Daulatpur in Rajapur Municipality, Bardiya, have obstructed the project after they were reportedly denied land acquisition compensation.

Laxman Tharu, one of the protesters, said they cannot just offer their lands to 

the project to build the embankment. 

“A large investment has gone into the embankment construction, but the project is reluctant to compensate people for the land takeover. Our lands are valuable to us. The project must pay us compensation if it wants to build the embankment,” he said. 

Thirty-six families of Daulatpur own lands on the site of the proposed embankment. The project began construction of the 43 km embankment in February, 2015, to mitigate flood and erosion risks posed by the Karnali river in Rajapur area. The project has so far completed building about 3.5 km of the embankment at Guptipur (103 metres), Banghusra (1,200 metres), Rajapur (975 metres), Sankatti (200 metres), Pattharbojhi (400 metres), and Kailali’s Shahipur (600 metres).

 The project is supposed to be completed in two years. However, the probability of the project completing on time seems quite low, given the slow work progress and now the protest started by the Daulatpur residents. 

Tilak Khatri, the project chief, said since the government had no policy of compensating the landowners, they cannot fulfil the demand of the protesters.  

“The political leaders trying to settle the issue, but there has been no headway in the talks yet,” he said.

Published: 03-05-2017 07:44

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