Construction of Arun III’s access road halted

Kathmandu, Dec 30: The Lumbini MK Singh and Brothers Company which has been awarded the contract for constructing an approach road to the Arun III Hydro-Electric Project based in eastern Sankhuwasabha district said it has been forced to suspend the works due to obstruction from the locals. As per the agreement it signed with the government, the company should complete the construction of the 28-kilometre access road stretching from Chhyangkuti to the project side based in Diding-8 by the next 15 months. But, it said it is not in the position of meeting the deadline due to the obstruction from the locals who are dissatisfied over the compensation amount they were given for the land acquisitioned for the road.

The compensation amount given to them by the government in 1990 was insufficient and they are losing other assets including houses, additional land and trees while implementing the approach road construction project, locals claimed.They have demanded appropriate compensation for the land acquired for the construction of project’s access road.The company has claimed compensation from the government for a forced delay in the completion of the project. The project was delayed because of the opposition by a major political party. Construction of a six kilometres road from Chhyankuti to Lapce under the first section has been already completed, Company’s official Madhav Khanal said.

Some 200 workers hired by the company for the construction purpose are now workless with locals obstructing the construction works for the past one and half months.The locals have formed committees at local level to mount pressure on the government to address their calls for additional compensation.Company claims that the halt in the construction works is causing a daily loss of up to Rs 600 thousand to the company. It has called on the bodies concerned to take initiatives to create atmosphere for restarting the works.Access road project divisional engineer Jibendra Mishra said a solution to the problem is expected to come within a couple of days as talks among the locals, Investment Board and Hydropower Project are going on. RSS

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