MCC project moves forward, land acquisition and compensation process begins

Published On: March 23, 2022 03:21 PM NPT By: Himal Lamsal

KATHMANDU, March 23: With the ratification of the US aid project Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact from the House of Representatives, the process of clearing the land acquired for the construction of a substation in Nuwakot has been started under the MCC compact agreement.

The Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-Nepal) Development Committee issued a public notice on Tuesday, requesting all concerned to vacate the acquired land for the 400 kV Ratmate substation within 35 days.

In the public notice issued by the committee, those who have received the compensation and rehabilitation assistance amount have been requested to vacate the acquired land within 35 days from the date of publication of the notice.

Rajiv Dahal, information officer for the MCA-Nepal Development Committee, said that the public notice has been issued to clear 385 ropanis of land already acquired for the project. "Even though the government has acquired the land from the people, they have been cultivating the land," he said. “We have requested them to vacate the areas as infrastructures are supposed to be built in those areas.”

According to the committee, 398 ropanis of land has to be acquired for the construction of the substation. Of them, there is no land ownership certificate for 7 ropanis of land. For such land, the Cabinet has to decide through a meeting. Similarly, the dispute over the ownership of about three ropanis of land has not been resolved yet.

Dahal said that about 99 percent of the people have already received the compensation. The committee has stated that it will take about 18 months to acquire the land required for the project. Land will also have to be acquired for the 315 km transmission line tower of 400 kV substation. Land must be acquired at the place where the tower of the project is to be constructed. On the other hand, 23-23 meters of land on the right and left sides of the right of way of the transmission line should be left vacant.

Dahal said that the MCC is preparing to issue a land acquisition notice for land acquisition within three months. "In order to proceed with the construction of the substation as per the approved program on the acquired land, the affected population who has already received the compensation and rehabilitation assistance amount including the compensation will have to vacate the acquired land within 35 days," the notice reads.

According to estimates so far, as many as 860 towers will have to be constructed under this project. The committee has to get full ownership of the land of the place where the tower will be erected. The transmission line under this project covers 10 districts.

About 313 km of double circuit transmission lines will be constructed under the MCC project. 

Under this project, along with the transmission line, road maintenance will also be carried out. Under this project, a 77 km road from Bhaluwang of Dang to Shivakhola of Banke will be constructed based on the latest technology. The width of the road will be 14 meters.

After the completion of this project, Nepal will have the infrastructure in place to export electricity to India and Bangladesh. Under this project, three substations of 400 kV capacity will also be constructed.

This transmission line project is being constructed to carry high voltage i.e. 400 kV electricity. For the transmission line, 860 towers will be constructed. The height of these towers under this transmission line will range from  43 to 92.5 meters.

Each tower will also have underground wires. The agreement stipulates that the US MCC will spend US dollar 500 million and the Government of Nepal will spend USD 130 million making a total of USD 630 million for the implementation of the compact project. The Millennium Challenge Corporation has set six prerequisites for project implementation. Out of which five conditions have been met. Now, only one condition of land acquisition remains.

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