DOLKHA, MAR 21 – Locals of Dolkha have warned that they will resume their protest if the ongoing obstruction to the construction of theUpper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project by its workers is not ended. The workers have been disrupting construction work for the last seven days demanding shares in the project.
Locals of Lamabagar, in particular, have been forceful in putting forth their demand. “If the construction work at the project is not resumed soon, the people here will not stop at taking any type of undesirable action,” the Tamakoshi Project Local Stakeholder Committee said in a statement.
The project workers have been protesting for a week to press their demand for 500 shares each in the project. Meanwhile, the demonstration has incited locals of Singati to ask for more shares than the number allocated to other people in Dolakha district.
They have been preventing the movement of vehicles bound for the project site.
The complete shutdown in the construction work for a long time is likely to lead to cost overruns. The Tamakoshi Project Local Stakeholder Committee has also pointed to possible delays in the project’s completion. “Regardless of whether the workers’ demands are fulfilled or not, the construction work should not be obstructed,” it said, adding that locals would help with the construction work.
The committee made its views public after the project management announced that the project was facing a severe crisis due to the obstruction put up by the workers and a section of the local population.
Earlier, lawmakers and political parties had also urged ending the obstruction to the national pride project.
Nepali Congress District Chairman Tara Bahadur Koirala said that the authorities should fulfil the demands of both the locals of Singati and the construction workers.
“However, the construction work should not be hindered under any pretext,” he added.
Meanwhile, the local administration said it would not interfere in the peaceful protest being carried out by the workers despite the resulting disruption to the project.
Chief District Officer Prem Lal Lamichhane said the project management would have to deal with the workers’ protest as long as it remained peaceful.
“Meanwhile, we will handle the protest launched by the people of Singati in coordination with the political parties,” he added.
Source : eKantipur