Complaint lodged against eight persons on charge of vandalism, arson at hydropower officeThe locals allege the construction of the hydropower has affected their irrigation project.
A complaint has been lodged with the police against eight people for their alleged involvement in vandalism and arson at the office of Champawati Hydropower in Siranchowk Rural Municipality-2 of Gorkha district on Saturday.
According to Kedar Khanal, Superintendent of Police at Gorkha District Police Office, a complaint was registered at the district police office on Monday demanding action against those involved in the attack and compensation for the damage.
Around 500 locals from Rainas Municipality of the neighbouring Lamjung district vandalised the office, claiming that the hydropower has affected their irrigation project.
The locals had set ablaze two mini trucks, an excavator and two temporary shelters built on the company’s premises.
Along with the complaint, the company’s board of directors has also sought compensation from the offenders.
According to the hydropower owner, Hareram Parajuli, the company has sustained damage of Rs3.4 million to physical infrastructures
“We have also filed the complaint demanding an additional compensation of Rs50 million as the company will incur a loss equal to the amount due to delay in the construction following the attack,” said Parajuli.
The Rainasatar Irrigation Project that came into operation in 2052 BS provides regular water supply to 850 hectares of land.
The locals resorted to protest after the hydropower posed a threat to the irrigation project, claimed Shree Krishna Poudel, a local resident of Rainas-3.
“Even after repeated calls and discussions to halt the construction works, they turned a blind eye to our concerns. The construction should be stopped at the soonest,” added Poudel. “We had even submitted a complaint to the Department of Electricity Development.”
As per the Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) report, the water from the hydropower has been mentioned to be released above 200 metres. However, that does not seem to be the case, said Poudel.
However, the company has denied allegations, asserting that the works have been carried out without hampering the irrigation project.
Around sixty percent of the total construction works of the hydropower which has a generation capacity of 7MW has been completed so far. The total cost of the project is estimated to be around Rs.135 million.