Integrated settlement plan for Budhi Gandaki affected population

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Integrated settlement plan for Budhi Gandaki affected population

 

(By Ramesh Lamsal)

Kathmandu, 22 March, 2015 : An integrated resettlement plan is to be developed for the rehabilitation of the locals to be affected by the Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project.

The reservoir-based project will affect around 45,000 people of Dhading and Gorkha districts as a result of the dam as high as 263 meters. As a result, a ring road will be constructed some 300 meters beyond the project-affected area to help resettle the locals.

The Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project Development Committee has decided to move ahead with a feasibility study for the ring road. Accordingly a consultant shall be selected within the next few days to complete the study, said Chairperson of the Committee Laxmi Prasad Devkota.

Ghyalchowk, Phujel, Namjung, Bungkot, Arsang, Borlang, Dhawa, Tandrang, Aarupokhari, Aaruchanaute and Aaruarbang VDCs of Gorkha district would be the most affected by the project. Likewise, the paddy farms of Salang, Maidi, Khari, Chainpur, Salyantar, Marpak, Mulpani, Besari and Budhathum VDCs of Dhading district would also be affected.

Similarly, the project would also affect garden of Bhimsen Thapa, the famous Tripurasundari Temple, Mastar, Kyamuntar, Jogitar and lower part of Salyantar and Aarutar Bazaar, the main trade hub of Dhading and Gorkha districts.

The project said that it would provide shares and rightful compensation of land and house to the project affected people. Local political leaders have demanded 50 per cent compensation and 50 per cent shares to the project-affected.

Chairperson of stakeholders committee of the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project, Dinesh Kumar Dhakal, said although the locals have to leave their place of origin, they would help the project if they are duly compensated.

The project site involving the reservoir could be developed as a tourism site as it would be 14 times bigger than the Fewa lake in Pokhara spreading over some 48 square kilometers area.

Meanwhile, the project is preparing to take project-affected people for an observation tour to India as the project is going to construct a dam that will be higher than the Tehri Dam of Uttaranchal, India. Plans are also afoot for fishery and water voyage in the reservoir of the Budhigandaki Project, said Chairman Devkota.

Lawmaker Rajendra Prasad Pandey is for forwarding the mapping, compensation evaluation and resettlement programmes in an effective manner.

The project has already started upgrading the 48-kilometre road leading to the project construction site, said Executive Director of the Project Gopal Basnet.

A price determination committee has been formed under the chairmanship of the Land Revenue Officer of Gorkha to determine the price of land at Ghyalchowk and Siyarenitar so as to set up camp of the Project.

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