May 27, 2017-
Prices of land adjoining the access road to the Tanahu Seti Hydropower Project have hit record highs. The 140 MW storage-type project is located on the Seti River near Damauli in Tanahu district, 150 km west of Kathmandu.
People from the highlands have started moving to the developed areas after a bridge was built and a road in Jhaputar, Rhising linking the project’s power station was blacktopped. Locals affected by the project have also been shifting here.
A large number of people have started buying plots for residential purposes, driving up real estate values. The price of a ropani of land has jumped from Rs300,000 a year ago to Rs6,400,000 after the area was developed, locals said.
New settlements have been mushrooming as highland people are converging on the area for a better quality of life, said locals.
Project-affected people have also started constructing houses in the area with the land compensation payment they received from the government. Tek Bahadur Garjamagar of Kahu-1 has built a 13-room house with the money he received in compensation for his land.
Likewise, the bridge which was built at a cost of Rs110 million has improved connectivity with the district headquarters and made life easier for the people. They also have easier access to the market.
The project has started blacktopping a 5-km stretch of the road from Chhapaghat to the Seti River. “The new settlements are a result of the development of roads,” said Kush Bahadur Thapa, a local resident. The newly built road connects the village directly with the Prithvi Highway. After the construction of the bridge, regular bus services have started in the district.
The project has constructed roads, electricity and drinking water project. In the last one year, the area has seen more than 150 new settlements. “Before the roads were built, it used to take a whole day to reach Damauli. Now, travel time has been cut down to an hour as there are bus services,” said Thapa. “The development has offered us many opportunities.”
The hydropower project has issued compensation payments totalling more than Rs300 million for the land it acquired to build the plant. The number of houses in Beltar, Prithvi Tol and Jhaputar have been rising. Business activities have also increased.
“Women entrepreneurs are receiving interest-free loans to begin poultry farming,” said Khem Maya Rana of Kahu. “We can earn Rs10,000-Rs20,000 from this business each month.” Due to market access, farmers have been earning Rs20,000-Rs25,000 monthly from vegetable farming.
Source: The Kathmandu Post