September 20: Construction work of the power house of 900 megawatts Arun III hydropower project under construction in Sankhuwasabha has come to a halt.
The locals have stopped the construction for around three weeks demanding compensation for the land to be acquired for the approach road of the Arun III project site. As a result of the protest by the locals, the work of the power house of the project and the entrance route has come to a standstill.
Jani Kumar Rai, coordinator of the Arun Entrance Route Struggle Committee, said they were forced to take to the streets after the government did not address their demands.
The locals have been demanding compensation for the land to be acquired along the Chhyangkuti-Diding Pukhuwa road. Four hundred fifty four ropanis of land are yet to be acquired from Chhyangkuti to Pukhuwa. The protesting locals have warned of continuing the protest until the compensation amount is deposited in the account of the district administration office. They have been protesting for the past seven years demanding compensation.
According to the project development agreement reached with the Indian construction company, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam which is constructing the project, the Government of Nepal has to bear Rs 80 million daily if the construction work is halted by the locals.
On 9 May, 2023, the compensation determination committee formed to compensate the affected locals had decided to provide Rs 1.1 million in compensation per ropani of land acquired along the Chhyangkuti-Diding road for the project. But the affected people have yet to get the compensation. Upon completion of the project, Nepal will get 197 megawatts of electricity. The estimated cost of the project is said to be over Rs 115 billion. More than 3,000 workers are working in the project. -- RSS