West Seti leaves 16 VDCs high and dry

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    west seti2DIPAYAL: With the construction of West Seti Hydro Power project in limbo for years, a number of villages where change for the better was expected, are lagging behind.

    Earlier, the government had put in abeyance all development works in the 16 VDCs of Doti, Dadeldhura, Bajhang and Baitadi districts citing the negative impacts of development initiatives on the project.

    But now with the project appearing a damp squib, residents of VDCs that were expected to be affected by the project, have now begun to feel deprived of development.

    “For ten long years no development work was carried out, so we feel deceived in the name of the West Seti hydro project,” said Ramesh Balayar of Doti, Tiltali, adding that residents of most of the project-affected areas have to walk as many as five hours to reach the Dr KI Singh highway of Doti.

    “Let alone the non-construction of the hydro project, we have been deprived of other basic developments here,” said Lamikhal VDC secretary Bharat Nepali, adding “We had renewed hope after a Chinese company signed a contract for the project, but construction is yet to begin.”

    Once the West Seti hydro project is constructed, a total of 2,500 families of Doti, Dadeldhura, Baitadi and Bajhang will be displaced. “In the name of the project we have long been deceived, so we won’t accept any more assurances,” said the West Seti Main Concern Committee Secretary Bisnu Chand.

    Meanwhile, DDC, Doti’s Social Development Officer Tek Bahadur Khadka today said the government might have stopped development work in the areas that were expected to be affected by the project, thinking that people in these areas would be displaced.

    Source : The Himalayan Times