Udayapur locals’ obstructions delay Saptakoshi DPRA Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the construction of the Saptakoshi High Dam Multipurpose Project and Sunkoshi Kamala Diversion has not been prepared even 14 years after its establishment due to obstructions from local residents in the district.
A Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the construction of the Saptakoshi High Dam Multipurpose Project and Sunkoshi Kamala Diversion has not been prepared even 14 years after its establishment due to obstructions from local residents in the district.
The locals have been protesting against the project saying that their demands have not been addressed yet.
In 1991, an agreement was reached between prime ministers of Nepal and India on preparing the joint DPR within 30 months of the agreement. Following the agreement to develop the multi-purpose project, a joint project office was set up in 2004 in Biratnagar to carry out the pre-feasibility study.
In June 2017, the project’s deadline was extended till August 2019. Pradeep Kumar Sah, chief of the Saptakoshi High Dam Multipurpose Project from the Nepali side, said the project’s completion deadline has been set in August 2019.
“Locals have been claiming that the Saptakoshi High Dam Multipurpose Project is in the interest of India,” said Sah.
The local residents have been demanding compensation to the households affected by Koshi and resettlement assurance for the affected families. Jaya Krishna Rai, one of the persons living in the affected area, said that the locals have also been demanding their equal participation in the project, access to information and rights of access to resources such as land, water and forest.
Currently, around 80 percent of water of the Saptakoshi flows down India without being used. The proposed 269-metre high concrete or rock-filled dam will be built about 2.6km north of Chatara. The high dam is likely to submerge at least 82 villages located 500 feet above sea level.
The project has three main channels for irrigation. Two out of the three channels—on the east and west—will be built to convey water to India, while one channel on the eastern side will provide irrigation facilities to three districts: Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari.
Four separate subsidiary channels will be built to convey water to different parts of Nepal for irrigation purpose in swathes of land up to Parsa district in the west. Authorities said the project will prioritise Bara and Mahottari districts and provide modern irrigation facilities to those districts.