DAILEKH, June 18: The locals affected by the Upper Karnali Hydro Power Project have drawn the attention of the Indian investor company, Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao (GMR), to address their concerns.
The locals' grievances were noted during the onsite inspection and interaction program held by parliamentary Agriculture and Water Resource Committee and Investment Board Nepal (IBN).
The GMR was set to launch the project with necessary financial management last Friday prompting speculations from the locals that it should be in the interest of the country and the people.
The locals of Sattal VDC of Dailekh and Bhairavsthan of Achham have called for focus on distribution of land compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement while 'winning the hearts of the local people'. The villagers have stressed on transparency while distributing shares, employment to the locals, process of conservation of natural resource and tools.
Many complained of the promoter company avoiding a candid discussion with the local residents.
A local, Bir Bahadur Nepali, said the Project was keeping the local people in ignorance by not relating necessary information.
Gopiram BC said the locals were confused due to the Project's reluctance to divulge information on share distribution process, compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement.
The locals have been demanding Rs 2.5 million per ropani of land while the GMR is prepared to provide only Rs 750,000.
Upper Karnali Hydro Power Project Concern Committee Chairman, Bam Bahadur BC, said preparations were being made to complete the process of distributing land compensation within the next six months.
As per the Project Development Agreement (PDA) reached between the promoter and IBN, the promoter company in consultation with the locals can determine land compensation of the private land property while seeking permission with the government for use of public land and removal of trees on such land.
Nepal will receive 12 per cent cost-free energy and maintain a 27 per cent share with the Upper Karnali Hydro Power Project. The Project is required to manage 239 households in three each VDCs in Surkhet and Achham, and six VDCs of Dailekh. RSS (Photo Available)