People who have lost land to the entrance way built for the Arun III Hydroelectricity Project have obstructed work on its power house being constructed at Pukhuwa, Chichila Rural Municipality–3.
According to Jani Kumar Rai, chairman of the Arun III Compensation Victims Struggle Committee, 400 families lost 524 ropanis of land due to the construction of the entrance way. “We have repeatedly asked to be compensated for the land lost but our calls have fell on deaf ears,” a disgruntled Rai said. “That is why we have been forced to stop work on the power house.”
Local Harka Singh Rai told The Rising Nepal that the victims would not allow the resumption of work until they were compensated.
Some who have already received compensation for the land also claim that they only received a portion of the promised amount.
The government had first acquired the land in 1988. At the time, the people had been compensated with the support of the World Bank. In 2009, when the land was surveyed, it was found that the entrance way had acquired 30 metres of land on either side. But the people claim that they were only compensated for 15 metres of land.
A study committee formed under the Assistant Chief District Officer of Sankhuwasabha had also recommended that the people be compensated for their land a year ago.