Local People Disrupted Arun III Project

Local People Disrupted Arun III Project

Sept. 10, 2023, 8:29 a.m.

It has been more than a week since the work of the power house of the 900 megawatt Arun III hydropower project, which is considered as an important project of the country, has been stopped. The citizens of the entrance road of the power plant have stopped vehicular movement and construction work on the entrance road since August 16 because they have not received compensation for the land.

Even though the construction work of the project has been stopped for such a long time, there are complaints that the concerned agencies have not shown interest. Chichila Rural Municipality, the local municipality, said that although the victims protested according to the predetermined schedule, the main responsible body, the Investment Board, did not show interest in not getting compensation. Everyone knew about the closure, but no one was interested even after it was closed for a week, said Village Chairman Pasang Nurbu Sherpa.

Suman Shakya, the head of the district coordination committee, who played the role of coordination in previous protests, is also complaining that he is not interested in opening the bandh this time. The entrance to the power house area of the 900 megawatt capacity Arun 3rd hydropower project under construction in Sankhuwasabha has been closed indefinitely. Locals have closed the road since Saturday saying that the land owner did not get the compensation due for the construction of the access road (road).

Assistant Chief District Officer Mohanmani Ghimire informed that the process of disbursement of compensation to the victims has started and no instructions have been received except for the circular issued by the Board of Investment on August 15 to facilitate the closure.

On the other hand, the Arun third project construction party has said that it will claim compensation according to the project construction contract.

Arun Dhiman, Chief Executive Officer of Arun Third Production Company, Sutlej Jalvidyut Nigam, said that since they have to bear a loss of more than five crores daily due to local disruptions, compensation will be demanded. Dhiman informed that if the work being done at speed is stopped, not only the equipment will be idle, but also there is a problem of workers running away. Officer Dhiman informed that after the work is not done, the companies that have taken over the construction will demand compensation from the electricity development company.

The compensation of 454 ropani land from Chyanguti to Kerabari under Arun 3rd entry route is yet to be received. Locals have been protesting for the past seven years demanding compensation. In the year 2045, compensation was distributed for the purpose of Arun 3rd road in Arun access road. At that time, after Arun III was to be built with the investment of the World Bank, the compensation was distributed with the help of Uccha Bank.

In the year 2066, 30 meters of the road was cut on the right and left sides of the land, but even those who received compensation received only 15 meters. Apart from that, the route of the road was changed in many places and the road was widened in spite of those who did not get compensation.

In order to resolve this compensation dispute, the Council of Ministers decided to form a study committee under the coordination of Assistant Chief District Officer Mohanmani Ghimire and based on the report of the said committee, compensation should be given for 454 ropani land belonging to Lalpurja. Later, a meeting chaired by the Compensation Determination Committee Coordinator and Chief District Officer Shivkumar Karki decided the compensation rate on 26th Baisakh.

Although the compensation rate of 11 lakh 75 thousand rupees has been set for transplanting, the protest has started again because the government is not interested in providing the funds. The victim has been saying that the bandh will not be opened until the compensation amount is deposited in the account of the district administration office.

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