Locals refuse to cede land for hydel project in Doti


    The much-hyped West Seti Hydropower Project seems to be hitting a fresh snag now with locals of Talkot of Shikhar Municipality in Doti refusing to cede land that the government wants to acquire for construction of a sub-station for the project.

    The project office based in Kathmandu had initiated the land requisition process on June 11 this year by issuing a public notice to land owners urging them to contact the office with documents vouching for their right over their lands.

    But not a single family of a total of 135 households occupying the 160 ropani land required for the sub-station has agreed to leave their lands.

    A meeting between stakeholders and locals held on Tuesday to discuss the matter ended inconclusively after locals clarified that they could not leave their lands unless they were relocated to a better place. “The government should resettle us in a better place if we are to leave our lands. It can’t bring us to the road by snatching our lands,” said local Bal Bahadur Malla.

    Another local Bhagirathi Mahara said,“I don’t believe the project will ever materialise as it’s already been 37 years since I first heard about the project. Yet another local Dev Bahadur Saud said, “Though there is public land nearby that could be used for the sub-station, the government does not pay attention to that. It’s hell-bent on grabbing our lands.”

    District Land Revenue Office, Doti, acting Chief Siddharaj Shrestha conceded that the locals were refusing to leave their lands. “We held a meeting with them to end the deadlock but to no avail. They wouldn’t give in,” he said.

    Source : The Himalayan Times.