Distribution of compensation payments for Arun III starts
- DIPENDRA SHAKYA, SANKHUWASABHA
Oct 27, 2016- The distribution of compensation payments for land to be cquired for the Arun III Hydroelectric Project in Sankhuwasabha district has formally started. Chief District Officer Khum Kanta Acharya launched the programme by handing over a cheque to one of the affected locals amid a ceremony on Wednesday. The District Administration Office will be distributing Rs1.30 billion to private landowners whose property will be taken over by the $1.4 billion, 900 MW hydropower scheme planned to be built on the Aurn River in eastern Nepal. The project has also started opening bank accounts to transfer the money. Acharya said that compensation payments would be distributed to 265 affected households in Num, Pathivara, Yaphu and Diding VDCs. The amounts range from Rs900,000 to Rs60 million. “As the construction work will start only after the land has been acquired, we have fixed the amount of the compensation payment,” he said. Biman Parajuli, a project affected local, said that the compensation amount had been determined through a trilateral agreement between the developer SJVN Arun III, the local administration and affected locals. The district administration has marked 49 hectares of private land required for the project. The land parcels have been divided into five categories—sloping land, small farmland, large cardamom field, paddy field and residential land. The compensation amount for different types of land varies accordingly. In all four VDCs, the administration has offered Rs825,000 per ropani for sloping land and Rs907,500 per ropani for small farmland.
It will pay Rs1.04 million per ropani for large cardamom field and Rs1.2 million per ropani for paddy field. If the land touches the North-South Koshi Highway, the owner will get 20 percent more. Similarly, those who own large cardamom fields producing 40 kg of large cardamom will get an additional Rs100,000 in compensation per ropani for three consecutive years as opportunity cost. Besides, these farmers will be provided Rs25,000 per ropani as large cardamom land development cost and Rs24,000 as transportation and plantation cost for three years. The compensation determination committee has considered 200 square metres of residential land as a parcel of land, and has offered Rs1.1 million in compensation. The rate is slightly higher for residential land at Faxinda of Num, where the office has offered Rs1.23 million in compensation for a parcel measuring 200 square metres. The project developer will also acquire houses, cowsheds, huts and plants on those land plots, and the district adminis tration office has fixed the compensation amount for all the assets on the land. The affected people will also be ensured transportation and food security costs including other social benefits. There are 391 private land parcels, including 112 in Diding, 82 in Yaphu, 147 in Num and 50 in Pathivara VDCs that will be acquired. According to the Project Development Agreement signed between the government and the developer, the company has to complete financial closure by November 2016. As per the agreement signed between Investment Board Nepal (IBN) and SJVN in November 2014, the developer will complete the construction of the plant and start energy generation by 2020. According to IBN, Nepal will receive Rs348 billion over 25 years from the project. SJVN will provide 21.9 percent of the energy generated free of cost, which is worth Rs155 billion, plus another Rs107 billion in royalties.