Locals displaced by Budhigandaki Hydropower Project dissatisfied with new location

Published On: May 23, 2019 05:01 AM NPT

GORKHA, May 23: The locals of Gorkha displaced by the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project have expressed dissatisfaction regarding the land allocation by the project to rehabilitate them.

The affected people have accused the project of deciding to relocate the 200 residents of Bhimsen Thapa Rural Municipality-8 in Kotale of the same ward without consulting with them. The locals are unhappy because Kotale reportedly lacks basic infrastructure.
“Why did they have to choose an area which is far away when there is Mahadevtar just nearby. It has ample land for relocation and the locals are also happy about it. Why would the project choose Kotale over Mahadevtar?” asked Ward Chief Basu Thapa.

“Kotale lacks even the basic infrastructure,” he added. The locals have therefore presented separate memoranda to the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project office in Siurenitar, and the District Administration Office Gorkha asking for the relocation at Mahadevtar instead.
The relocation in the area formerly known as Borlang Village Development Committee-3 is something decided by the project in complete secrecy. The locals who are determined to change the area of relocation, have formed a struggle committee under the coordination of ward chief Thapa. The committee has threatened to intensify protests if the concerned bodies go ahead with their plan.

The DAO and the Environmental Compensation, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Unit (ECRRU) decided on May 5 to conduct resettlement in various places of Gorkha, instructing the Department of Land Reform Management to restrict land transaction in Kotale.
“This could all be the tricks of land brokers to acquire money,” stated Balram Dhakal, one of the active protestors of the locality.

The Budhigandaki Hydropower Project will displace a total of 1672 houses. And the government has decided to allocate one ropani land per household. In the first phase, it has decided to relocate 200 households.

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