Compensation paid out for land acquiredNearly half of the landowners whose properties were acquired for the Arun III Hydroelectric Project in Sankhuwasabha district have received financial compensation in the two weeks since the payment scheme was launched.
Nearly half of the landowners whose properties were acquired for the Arun III Hydroelectric Project in Sankhuwasabha district have received financial compensation in the two weeks since the payment scheme was launched.
The District Administration Office (DAO) has paid out Rs441.2 million to 126 among the 269 project-affected households.
“Until Thursday, we have disbursed compensation amounts to 126 households through their bank accounts,” said Khumkanta Acharya, chief district officer of Sankhuwasabha district.
He said that 170 households had applied for compensation as of Thursday. “We are in the process of releasing Rs321.4 million to the remaining 44 households who have applied for compensation.”
The DAO plans to distribute a total of Rs1.30 billion to private landowners whose properties were taken over for the hydropower scheme planned to be built on the Arun River in eastern Nepal. The amounts range from Rs900,000 to Rs60 million.
The Arun III project is expected to cost $1.4 billion and produce 900 MW of electricity.
The district administration has marked 49 hectares of private land required for the project. The properties have been divided into five categories for the purpose of determining the compensation amount—sloping land, small farmland, large cardamom field, paddy field and residential land.
The compensation amounts for the 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 fields and Rs1.2 million per ropani for paddy fields. If the land touches the North-South Koshi Highway, the owner will get 20 percent more.
Similarly, those who own large cardamom fields yielding 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 DAO 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. The project will acquire 391 private land parcels, including 112 in Diding, 82 in Yaphu, 147 in Num and 50 in Pathibhara VDCs.
As per an agreement signed between Investment Board Nepal (IBN) and the project developer SJVN in November 2014, the company will complete the construction of the plant and start energy generation by 2021.
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.