Arun 3rd Dam Construction Halted for 58 Days

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On the 29th Oct, in Kimathanka (Sankhuwasabha), a protest has been ongoing since last Sep 19th, after the local community did not receive compensation for the entry route of the Arun 3rd Hydropower Project, which is under construction in Sankhuwasabha.

Residents from Chhichila Rural Municipality-2, Chhayangkuti to Khandbari Municipality-4, Diding are protesting, demanding the repair of the damaged road section and seeking compensation.

Despite repeatedly demanding compensation for the 24-kilometer road section from Chhayangkuti to Diding Pukhuwa, the affected individuals have resorted to indefinite protests after not receiving the compensation. They have shown unwavering commitment to the protest, even continuing it in the tenth month.

The Arun 3rd Hydropower Project affected struggle committee has maintained continuous protest by obstructing the transportation of construction materials for the project. In this regard, the affected individuals have put a halt to the transportation of construction materials for the Arun 3rd Hydropower Project on the specified road section.The Central Struggle Committee Coordinator, Jani kumar Rai, informed that the entrance to the Power Generation House in Chhayangkuti has been blocked by the protesting affected individuals, who are conducting daily demonstrations. The Struggle Committee has also halted all transportation of materials for the project.

The coordinator stated that they will not stop the protest until the guaranteed money is deposited into their bank accounts. Furthermore, the landowners have blocked the construction of the project due to the non-receipt of compensation for 454 ropanis of land that has not yet been compensated. Despite this, the landowners have yet to receive compensation for the land provided in 2089 .

Even though more than 65% of the project work has been completed, the landowners have not received compensation. It has been discovered that the land provided to the landowners was taken over by the government in fiscal year 2009/2010 without their knowledge. In some cases, more land was taken over and government ownership was established through the cost-cutting process rather than compensating the landowners.

Even after cutting the cost and operating the road without compensation, the landowners have been engaged in road protests repeatedly. In the past, on the 9th of May, the compensation determination committee appointed by the district administration office, Sankhuwasabha, under the leadership of the Chief District Officer, had decided to provide each landowner with NPR 11,75,000 as compensation for the Chhayangkuti-Diding road section.

Despite the government’s decision during a cabinet meeting to provide compensation for the unsanctioned lands, the government has not been able to disburse the compensation. With the long-standing suspension of project work and the lack of effort to resume it from any side, the state is incurring a daily loss of around NPR 50,000,000..

The Nepal government has mentioned that due to local objections in the project development agreement (PDA) with the Indian company Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam, the construction of the Arun 3rd Hydropower Project has been halted, and it will incur a daily loss of NPR 50,000,000, which the government expects to claim as compensation.

Source: Online Khabar