Taskforce set up to suggest modalityEnergy Ministry has formed a taskforce that will recommend a modality on acquiring right-of-way (ROW) from private landowners for the constriction of electricity transmission lines.
Energy Ministry has formed a taskforce that will recommend a modality on acquiring right-of-way (ROW) from private landowners for the constriction of electricity transmission lines.
The taskforce formed under the coordination of Pravin Raj Aryal, joint secretary at the ministry, has been asked to comment on existing provision and procedures on getting ROW and make appropriate recommendation.
The taskforce is currently doing background study and its members are visiting sites where transmission lines are under construction, according to the ministry.
The formation of the taskforce is in line with the provision in National Energy Crisis Reduction and Electricity Development Decade endorsed by the government in February 2016. According to the 30th point of the 99-point plan, the ministry was supposed to develop a modality to get ROW within four months. However, the work was delayed due to change in government and leadership at Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), which develops transmission lines in the country.
According to the existing provision, compensation worth 10 percent of the value of land used by transmission line is provided to private landowners to get ROW.
However, majority of the landowners have demanded the compensation be maintained at 50-90 percent of the land value.
Some have even demanded complete transfer of land ownership and compensation of 100 percent of the land value. After signing ROW agreement, landowners cannot build any infrastructure, or plant trees, on the land.
“The taskforce members have agreed the existing compensation rate is low and that it has to be revised,” said Aryal. “The task force is considering two modalities—either paying a one-time compensation worth a certain percentage of the land value, or making annual rental payments.” However, the taskforce is yet to come to a conclusion, he added.
Lately, getting ROW for developing power transmission lines has been a headache for NEA. It has been struggling to convince landowners to built 20km Khudi-Bhulbhule transmission line for evacuating electricity produced by 50MW Upper Marshyangdi Hydropower Project. Construction of Khimti-Dhalkebar took more than 13 years due to hassles in getting ROW. The construction, which started in 2003, ended a couple of weeks ago.