Work halts at Upper Madi hydro

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    POKHARA:

    upper madiAs many as 90 Nepali workers today halted work at Upper Madi-hydro power in Sildujure, Kaski, demanding pay as per the international labour organisation specifications.

    The protesters include drivers, operators, labourers, and welders.

    Vice-chairperson of Workers’ Committee’s Guna Prasad Baral said, “We were forced to resort to protest after the contractor did not pay any heed to the twenty-point demand that we put forth.”

    Their demands include reduction of duty hours, over-time allowance, Dashain bonus, and work place security, among others.

    The meeting between the agitating parties and the management committee ended inconclusively today.

    “There is no work environment at the construction site. No allowance or other facilities are provided to drivers. We have to wear the same pair of shoes that don’t last even for 15 days for more than six months and we don’t even have a toilet,” Baral said. Meanwhile, Pas Bahadur Bastola, under Secretary of stakeholder’s committee expressed solidarity with the workers’ agitation.

    Project Co-coordinator Ram Raj Koirala said they could not increase employees’ salary as they were paid on labour basis, however, talks could be held for construction of toilet, canteen, and accommodation.

    As many as 100 Chinese nationals are working in the project.

    The hydro project, with a capacity of 25 MW, was initiated with the joint investment of Chinese Three Georges and Nepal’s private sector. It had started on December 29 last year with completion time of 28 months.

    Locals of Sildujure, Manarjun, Thumakodanda, Parche and Kalika VDCs have put forward various demands forming a steering committee in the region. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 5.28 billion and it was supposed to be completed by April 2015.

    Source : The Himalayan Times