SINDHULI, AUG 04 – The local administration and political representatives have agreed to run the 220 kV Khimti-Dhalkebar transmission line through Kamalamai Municipality 7 in a move that has been greeted as being important since locals had long been obstructing its construction demanding more compensation for their land.
As per the agreement, Sindhuli mai will be freed from load-shedding after electric poles are erected at Khurkot of Sindhuli , paving the way for the prompt construction of the transmission line in the municipality.
Although agitating locals had vowed to obstruct the construction if their demands were not met, Pralhad Pokharel, the coordinator of the local Peace Committee and the Transmission Line Expansion Problem Solution Committee, said they should accept the compensation package.
According to him, continued obstruction is not tolerable as it is a national transmission line. “Only a few locals have not taken the compensation payment,” he added.
According to him, the construction of the transmission line will start this week. Nepali Congress leader Manik Dhakal said that as only a very few people remained to receive their compensation payment, the construction of the power line would not be held up. “The administration itself has promised to provide as much support as possible. There is no need for further agitation.”
Chief District Officer Dipak Raj Nepal said that efforts had been made to construct the transmission line without using any force by the state. “Only a few people have rejected the compensation,” he said. “As it is a project of national importance, the process will now move ahead.”
Chairman of the Project Victims Struggle Committee Surendraswor Moktan said that they would not obstruct the project if their seven-point demands were met. “We will not accept the compensation until they are fulfilled.”
One of the demands of the struggle committee is that the transmission line should be installed underground as it would affect schools, historical and religious sites, urbanizing centres and BP Highway.
They said that if it would not be possible to place the power line underground, all the inhabitants occupying its proposed path should be relocated and provided an equivalent amount of land. They have also asked that the locals be made shareholders in the project and Sindhuli freed from load-shedding.
According to the District Administration Office, 80 percent of the locals have already received their compensation. Only the owners of 37 plots out of the total 159 plots belonging to 29 families have not collected their payment.
Meanwhile, the struggle committee complained that the authorities had provided compensation to owners of land situated on the river bank instead of the real victims.
Two years ago, Sindhuli had been declared load-shedding free for six months, but the facility was withdrawn after locals resumed their obstruction.
Source : eKantipur