Budhi Gandaki hydel land acquisition: Compensation payment distribution begins

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    Feb 24, 2017- The District Administration Office (DAO), Gorkha, on Thursday initiated the compensation distribution process to residents of three VDCs for their land acquired by the Budhi Gandaki Hydroelectric Project. The DAO has distributed Rs 47.27 million in compensation to 32 households–12 in Ghyalchowk and 20 in Darbung VDCs.

    “Landowners got compensation amount ranging from Rs.100,000 to Rs8 million deposited into their accounts at Rastriya Banijya Bank,” said Netra Prasad Adhikari, deputy chief district officer of Gorkha.

    After paying out the compensation amount, those plots of land were transferred to the Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project Development Committee. “The distribution of compensation will be continued until all of those whose land have been acquired by the project are paid off,” said Jitendra Basnet, chief district officer of the DAO Gorkha.

    In the first phase, project-affected people in three VDCs—Ghyalchowk, Bhulmi and Darbung—will get compensation. As of now, around 700 households in the VDCs have applied for compensation at the project development committee, expressing their wish to transfer their land to the project. The remaining 500 households are in the process of filling applications, according to the committee.

    “The application will be verified by the Land Revenue and Survey offices and their land plots will be graded before recommending to us for payment,” said CDO Basnet.

    The DAO has already received Rs2.5 billion from the Finance Ministry for the distribution of compensation. It will take around 45 days to distribute the compensation amount to the concerned landowners, according to him.

    The Finance Ministry has also released Rs2.5 billion to the DAO of Dhading, another project affected district, for the compensation distribution. However, the shortage of staff at Land Revenue and Survey offices in Dhading has delayed the compensation distribution.

    The compensation distribution committees of the two districts have fixed the compensation rate at Rs 524,000 to Rs 835,000 per ropani.

    The land to be acquired by the project have been classified into five categories—paddy field, small farmland, land in market area, land adjoining a road and land near human settlements. Paddy fields and small farmlands have been further classified into four grades, with the first grade commanding the highest compensation amount.

    The latest project development committee report puts the number of the affected households at more than 8,000.

    The reservoir of the storage project will submerge 3,560 houses and the occupants will need to be resettled with proper compensation. Likewise, 4,557 households will be partially affected and need appropriate compensation.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post