Feb 17, 2016- The Budhi Gandaki Hydroelectric Project Development Committee has identified the extent of the area that will be inundated by the reservoir of the planned 1,200 MW project and the place where the people living there will be relocated. The project is expected to displace 45,000 people.
The Survey Office and Land Revenue Offices in Dhading and Gorkha have been working to mark the places that will be affected by the power plant as per the directive of the Ministry of Land Reform and Management.
The committee has also made arrangements to provide extra benefits to the staff of the Land Revenue Offices for the increased work load.
Chairman of the committee Laxmi Prasad Devkota said that the Survey and Land Revenue Offices of both Gorkha and Dhading were close to completing the task.
Once the areas that will be submerged by the reservoir have been identified, compensation will be distributed to the landowners.
The government teams will mark a 45-km stretch along the Budhi Gandaki River and a 22-km stretch along the Ankhu Khola that will be submerged when water begins to fill the reservoir of the storage-type hydro project.
Likewise, officials will mark the area spread over 785 hectares where the displaced locals will be resettled besides the land to build a 235-km-long ring road around the project site.
The government team will also categorise the land that will be taken over by the project, and compensation will be distributed to the owners accordingly.
Devkota said that there were discrepancies between the land owned by the locals and what is shown on their land ownership certificates which need to be settled before starting land acquisition.
“We are dealing with such issues, and the work of acquiring land has begun,” he said. The project will affect Ghyalchok, Namjung, Bunkot, Ashrang, Borlang, Dhawa, Tandrang, Aarupokhari, Aaruchanaute and Aaruarbang village development committees (VDCs) in Gorkha.
Likewise, Salang, Maidi, Khari, Chainpur, Salyantar, Aaginchok, Tripura Sundari, Marpak, Mulpani, Baseri and Budathum VDCs in Dhading will be affected.
Currently, an environment impact assessment (EIA) of the project is being conducted by French consultant Tractwell Engineering. The company is expected to submit the EIA report by February 28.
The hydropower projects operating in the country have a total installed capacity of 785 MW, but power generation drops to 300 MW in the winter as the water level in the rivers falls during the dry season.
After the Budhi Gandaki project is completed, the country is expected to be able to leave the energy crisis behind.
A 263-metre-high dam will be built for the Budhi Gandaki project which will create a lake that could become a tourist attraction. The project is expected to cost Rs200 billion.
Source : The Kathmandu Post