•      Thu Nov 30 2023

Construction of power house of Arun III hydropower project halts

Sankhuwasabha, Sept 20: Construction work of the power house of 900 megawatts Arun III hydropower project under construction in Sankhuwasabha has come to a halt.

The local people have stopped the construction for around three weeks demanding for compensation for the land to be acquired along the Chhyangkuti-Diding Pukhuwa approach road of the Arun III project site. As a result of a protest by local people, the work of the power house of the project and the entrance route has come to a standstill.

They are forced to take to the streets after the government did not address their demands, said Jani Kumar Rai, coordinator of the Arun Entrance Route Struggle Committee.

The local people have been demanding compensation for the land to be acquired along the Chhyangkuti-Diding Pukhuwa. Four hundred fifty four ropanis of land are yet to be acquired from Chhyangkuti to Pukhuwa. The protesting people warned of continuing the protest until their compensation is deposited in the account of the district administration office. They have been protesting for the past seven years demanding compensations.

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 construct is halted by the local people.

On 9 May, 2023, the compensation determination committee formed to compensate the missing affected local people 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 local people have yet to get the compensation. Nepal will get 197 megawatts electricity from the project, it has been said. Over Rs 115 billion is estimated for the project. More than 3,000 workers are working in the project.