Office of Budhigandaki Hydropower Project. Photo: Republica
GORKHA, Feb 13: The national pride project, Budhigandaki Hydropower Project, has distributed a total of Rs 28.18 billion to acquire private land. According to the project officials, the amount for the acquisition of 45,777 ropani of land in Gorkha and Dhading districts belonging to 21,159 households has been released.
Project Chief of Reconstruction and Resettlement Unit, Krishna Bahadur Karki said that Rs 14.79 billion was released to 7,831 landowners for 23,331 ropanis of land. Rest of the amount was dispersed in Dhading district.
Of the total 3,000 displaced households, 1,672 are from Gorkha and the rest of the households are from Dhading district. The project has distributed compensation to affected people of Arughat and Arkhet of Gorkha, and, Bishalnagar and Khahare of Dhading. According to Karki, 130,000 ropanis of land will be acquired for the project. “The compensation distribution is in its final phase,” project chief Karki said. “Most of the landowners except those who have their land ownership certificates as collateral with the banks have submitted their certificates to the project.”
The details on the number of households in the market area have not been prepared and the deduction of depreciation in compensation that has already been distributed has not been finalized. “After the Ministry of Energy sent a letter with the suggestion to not deduct the depreciation, the Ministry of Finance has taken the project's opinion,” he said, “We have already sent the reply and after the ministry makes a decision, compensation distribution of households will start.” He stated that the project has plans of distributing the compensation within the current fiscal year. According to the project officials, the chance of deduction in depreciation is very less. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the project states that 1,672 households of former 14 village development committees (VDC) will be displaced. The compensation rate has not been fixed in these areas.
The project office has plans of managing the government structures and land to be inundated in another place so it does not have to be compensated. Similarly, the project does not have any plans on providing compensation to affected government schools, health post and organizations. Karki shared the plans of handing over the structures in the areas where the affected households have been resettled. District Compensation Committee has decided to send a team in a few days to get the details of the households in the market.