Locals seek 20pc share in hydro projects

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    LAMJUNG, DEC 03 –

    The District Hydropower Promotion and Public Concern Committee headed by the local development officer (LDO) has asked for a compulsory 20 percent share for locals in any hydropower project developed in the district.

    Lamjung DistrictA four-point declaration issued by the committee on Saturday said that half of the 20 percent stake to be offered to the public be distributed before construction starts.

    People from the project affected areas should be given the first priority while issuing shares, states the declaration.

    The committee, which includes the district chiefs of political parties and other representatives, also agreed to prevent obstructions to potential projects and not provide political protection to hooligans.

    A member of the committee said that they also agreed to form a single concern committee in the affected area and control hooliganism at the project.

    “However, the project should take the necessary steps to prevent environmental damage as a result of construction, the people should be consulted and the concern committee should be informed about the cost of the project,” states the declaration.

    Similarly, the committee has decided to make efforts to build transmission lines as there has been problems with evacuating power from big projects due to lack of adequate links.

    The committee has also formed a five-member committee under the coordination of LDO Bishnu Dutta to prepare a draft of the working procedure of the committee in order to implement past decisions.

    When the government led by Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had announced generating 10,000 MW of power in 10 years, this committee had made plans to produce 1,000 MW in the district during the same time period.

    “The committee has been working aggressively to achieve that goal and to ensure the rights of the locals,” said Gautam.

    Some two dozen projects are being developed in the country including the 600 MW Upper Marsyangdi A in the district. A number of them are about to go into construction while others are at the feasibility stage. Gam Prasad Gurung, member secretary of the committee, said that if all these projects were to be built without hindrances, the target could be achieved.

    Meanwhile, promoters of hydro projects have hailed the committee’s decision. They have also demanded that the share structure for the public should be different for large and micro projects.

    They added that they had been facing problems due to the low capacity of the transmission lines in place.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post