On 24 October 2019, MCA-Nepal organized an interaction meeting with Land Value Evaluation Sub-Committee at Ratmate Nuwakot. The team was led by Mr. Badri Nath Gaire, Assistant Chief District Officer of Nuwakot, with the participation of Mr. Hem Nidhi Nepal, the Ward Chair of Belkot Municipality ward no. 7. Representatives from the Land Reform Office and the Land Survey office also took part in the meeting.
The purpose was to create an open grievance handling platform for local landowners who are affected by the Electricity Transmission Project. The discussion provided Affected Person (AP) committee members detailed information on the scope of the Land Value Evaluation Sub-Committee and the process for land valuation. Mr Gaire explained the key indicators taken into consideration to determine the rate of land. The responses were well received by the affected locals including the local government representatives. One of the main concerns raised by the AP committee during the meeting was regarding the relocation and the physical resettlement of the people. As a feedback, the ward chair requested the AP group to appoint a local representative who will act as a focal person for all future grievances handling. The discussion was also aimed to create an understanding of the long term benefit of the project and provide insights into the physical structure of the Ratmate Substation area.
The Electricity Transmission Project (ETP) will build around 318 km of 400 kV electricity transmission lines, three substations, and provide technical assistance for the power sector in Nepal. The 318 km of transmission line will pass through 30 municipalities of 10 districts. More than Eight Hundred towers will be installed to support the transmission lines. The proposed locations for the three sub-stations are in Ratmate, Damauli and New Butwal.
A Compensation Fixation Committee meeting, held on 30 September 2019 under the Chairmanship of the Chief District Officer of Nuwakot, has formed a sub-committee to prepare a field study report to fix the compensation rate for the land to be acquired for the construction of a sub-station at Ratmate, Belkotgadhi Municipality of Nuwakot.
The sub-committee formed under Mr. Badri Nath Gairhe, the Assistant Chief District Officer at Nuwakot district has nine members. After a discussion on the preliminary report on the land acquisition at Ward No. 7 of Belkotgadhi Municipality presented by Mr. Shiva Prasad Dhakal, the Preliminary Officer designated for preparing a report on the land acquisition, the meeting ended with a decision to publish a public notice regarding the land acquisition in a national daily. Mr. Khadga Bahadur Bisht, the Executive Director at MCA-Nepal, who also attended the meeting presented an introduction to the project. The meeting was conducted according to the Clause 13 of Land Acquisition Act, 1977.
Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-Nepal) will be constructing the Ratmate Sub-Station as a part of its Electricity Transmission Project (ETP) which will help Nepal build a 318 KM long 400 kV transmission line.
The Ministry of Finance representing the Government of Nepal and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) representing the United States Government signed a Program Implementation Agreement on 29 September 2019. The signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Finance with the Minister of Finance, Honorable Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada signing on behalf of Government of Nepal and Mr. Anthony Welcher, Vice President of the Department of Compact Operations, MCC signing on behalf of the U.S. government, represented in Nepal by Mr. Troy E. Kofroth, Resident Country Director.
The event was attended by Finance Secretary Dr. Rajan Khanal, Joint Secretary and Head of International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division Mr. Shreekrishna Nepal, Mr. Khadga Bahadur Bisht, Executive Director, Millennium Challenge Account-Nepal (MCA-Nepal) and other MCC and MCA-Nepal representatives.
The Program Implementation Agreement is an important step toward implementing the $500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact in Nepal as it further specifies the terms for implementing the Compact and its activities in Nepal including details of the implementation arrangements, fiscal accountability and disbursement and use of MCC funding, among other matters.
With its signing, Nepal has met one of the key Conditions Precedent to the 30 June 2020 entry into force date after which the five year clock to implementation of the Compact will start. In September 2017, the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation signed the Compact with the Government of Nepal. The Compact aims to increase the availability and reliability of electricity, improve the quality of the roads network and facilitate power trade between Nepal and India – helping to spur investments and accelerate economic growth that will benefit all Nepalese.
A two day training/workshop on ‘Procurement Operations Manual’ was held on 23rd of September and the 24th of September at the Royal Singhi Hotel, organized by the Procurement department of MCA-Nepal. The objective of this training is to provide a detailed information on how the procurement system works under MCC’s guidelines, for Nepal’s compact.
The training also provides a detailed overview of the ‘Roles and Responsibilities’ of contract managers and to secure a fair procurement contract for all applicants or agents. The training focused on how suppliers, consultants and service providers can be notified and sensitized-about upcoming MCC funded procurement opportunities.
“Basic infrastructures,specifically electricity generation facilities and roads, are the basic requirement to materialize the dream of prosperity in Nepali people and in this context, the Millennium Challenge Compact plays a significant role.” Mr. Sher Bahadur Tamang, the Chief Guest and a Member of Parliament and Ex-Minister for Law and Justice, expressed his opinion in a district level consultation program on Electricity Transmission Project (ETP) of Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-Nepal) in Chautara of Sindhupalchowk District on 22 September 2019.
Recalling his involvement in reviewing the agreement as the Minister for Law and Justice, Mr. Tamang mentioned that the document was a far-sighted vision in utilizing every unit of the electricity produced in Nepal as well as exporting the surplus production. As Nepal lacks the sufficient investment to build required development infrastructure, the generous grant from the US Government is going to contribute significantly in the economic development of the country,” he added. The event also saw the participation of local government officials, elected representatives and the media.
Mr. Khadga Bahadur Bisht, the Executive Director at MCA-Nepal presented on the theme, “Transmission Line for Electricity Development in Nepal – where to align the line”.He said,”Electricity consumption is a parameter of development. Statistics show that the more a country produces and consumes electricity, the more it is developed. “Most of the river water, a source for electricity generation is flowing out of our land without being used, so we need to build an environment to encourage electricity production and facilities to link the electricity production and the market”, he stated.
Introducing Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and MCA-Nepal to the gathering, Shalav Risal, the Human Resource and Administration Manager at MCA-Nepal, mentioned that the US $ 500 million worth Nepal Compact is the biggest contribution of MCC in South Asia, and it was provided based on an economic constraint analysis conducted by a joint team of economists working on behalf of the governments of Nepal and the United States.In a presentation on “Environmental Impacts of 400 kV Transmission Line and their Mitigation Measures”, Mr. Shyam Upadhyaya, the Quality Assurance Manager for Environment, Health & Safety at MCA-Nepal, explained about the measures the project is taking for mitigating the environmental, health and livelihood impacts.
Similarly, Rajendra P. Thanju, the Quality Assurance Manager for Social Inclusion and Resettlement at MCA-Nepal, briefed the audience on the provisions the program was going to follow regarding resettlement of affected people in his presentation on “Social Safe guarding Resettlement Policy Framework – better off principle”.In her remarks, Ms. Goma Devi Chemjong, the Chief District Officer of Sindhupalchowk district, expressed her commitment to provide required assistance to let the project complete its work in the district as the initiation was going to contribute to the development of the entire country.
“The project needs full support from local people to implement its plan, “Ms Bhagawati Nepal, the Deputy Mayor at Melamchi Municipality and also the proposed site of the ETP stated, “As long as the program addresses local people’s concerns, the local government will be with it.” Questions related to the private and public land,impact on the buffer zone and livelihood and security of local people, labour security etc. were raised during the open session, which were addressed by concerned officials.
The event ended with Ms. Alina Rajbhandary Shrestha, Communications and Public Affairs Manager at MCA-Nepal thanking the participants for their active participation and valuable inputs. Sindhupalchowk is one of the ten districts that will be affected by the electricity transmission line project. Out of 318 KM of 400 kV transmission line, 10 km will pass through four wards (Ward No. 1, 2, 3 and 4) of Melamchi Municipality in the district,and 37 towers will be built for the same purpose in the district. In total,seven public/private structures, 11.55 hectare forest land and 34.81 hectare private land are projected to be affected during the implementation of the project in the district.
MCA-Nepal is in the preparatory phase to implement the US Government Grant of US $ 500 million and Government of Nepal’s contribution of US $ 130 million in electricity transmission line construction and road maintenance in various parts of Nepal. The Government of Nepal has declared the Electricity Transmission Project, which is responsible for the construction of 313 km of 400 kV double circuit transmission line as a ‘Project of National Pride’.
Route alignment has been improved as per our suggestions: Galchhi Village Municipality Chairperson
Kathmandu, 31 July 2019.
“The Right of Way (RoW) provision of your project is going to cross our two houses at Jamune Danda. After being destroyed by the devastating earthquake in 2015, one of the houses was rebuilt two years ago, and one just last year”, Mr. Prem Bahadur Rana Magar from Nilkantha Municipality shared with a sigh.“It seems that my family will have to search for a roof once again.”
Mr. Rana Magar, a teacher by profession from Nilkantha Municipality, does not live in those houses, but his father Durga Bahadur Rana Magar and brother Man Bahadur Rana Magar do. Mr. Rana Magar, who is living at Chanaute, at half an hour’s distance from Jamune Danda, voiced his pain- “When I saw the transmission line went above our houses during the presentation, I felt like the wire was crossing through my heart! I don’t know how I am going to convey the message to my father!!
“Anyway, my father won’t have any problem with cooperating with the project. He is a person with strong patriotic feeling.
He always says that country comes first. I believe that the project will not exploit his sentiment, but provide him with just compensation”, he said between pauses.
Not only Mr. Rana Magar, but other participants in a local level consultation program also expressed their concerns regarding the compensation to be provided for the private properties affected by the Electricity Transmission Project, being implemented by Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-Nepal). However, responses from the MCA-Nepal representatives helped calm their concerns.
The 16 June 2019 consultation was organized to share the final alignment route of the proposed 400 kV electricity transmission lines and preliminary findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment Baseline Survey with representatives from local governments and Community Forest User Groups from Galchhi Village Municipality and Nilkantha Municipality in Dhading district. The program was just one in the important series of consultations with local stakeholders in 30 municipalities through which the transmission line is going to cross.
Briefing the participants on the Electricity Transmission Project, Mr. Shyam K. Upadhyaya, the Quality Assurance Manager at MCA-Nepal, said, “This mega project is aiming to increase the country’s economic productivity by connecting various power houses’ electricity production in the national grid system. So it is a great opportunity to contribute and cooperate towards the nation’s development for the successful implementation of the mission.”
“We are exercising maximum caution to avoid any negative impact to private and public property as well as environmental and heritage sites in the course of the construction of the sub-stations, towers and lines”, he added, “However, it won’t be possible to completely neutralize the impact, so the project is going to compensate the damage in a fair and justifiable manner.”
Mr. Madhukar Khadka, a representative of a consultant firm to MCA-Nepal, informed the gathering that the transmission lines will go through Ward No. 2, 3, and 8 of Galchhi Village Municipality and Ward No. 5 of Nilkantha Municipality.
Recalling a meeting with MCA-Nepal some time ago, Mr. Krishna Hari Shrestha, the Chairperson of Galchhi Village Municipality, said “I have found the transmission line route alignment has been amended as per our suggestions provided last time. Only three wards of Galchhi have been touched where as there were five wards in the proposed route last time. I have taken it as a commitment of the project to protect public property and consider our suggestions.”
He suggested collaboration with local people respecting their attachment to their land, heritage and environment.
Ms. Radha Timilsina, the Vice-Chairperson of Galchhi Village Municipality requested MCA-Nepal to hire local people in the project implementation process based on their capability and qualifications.
Sharing her experience with the difficulty caused by other power projects in receiving compensation, she stressed that similar history should not be repeated for the smooth operation of this project.
Mr.. Nawa Raj Dhungana, Ward No. 5 Committee of Nilkantha Municipality, expressed concern about potential health impacts from the transmission line and requested MCA-Nepal to mitigate the project’s impact on community and religious forests.
Mr. Khadananda Khanal, the Chairperson of Ward No. 2 of Galchhi Village Municipality said, “Local people will be pleased to cooperate in moving the project ahead if the project fulfills their aspirations. Compensation should be fair and relocation cost should also be provided. We also request you to provide some community benefit, such as renovation of Bhaktabatsala Temple, replacing the existing transformers with high capacity transformers”
Responding to the concerns, raised in the discussion, Mr. Upadhyaya mentioned, “We have a program, called MCA Partnership program, under which we incorporate community benefit initiatives. They will help in community development. We are also going to prioritize to provide capable local people with employment in project sites.”
Stating that there is no scientific basis on the claim that transmission lines can cause health impacts as they release less rays than mobile phones, he added, “But there are risks in staying under the lines. Long exposure to the rays may cause health hazards. Transmission lines could break and cause accidents. So we don’t allow the building of houses under the lines.”
MCA-Nepal is in the last phase of preparation to incorporate the construction of a 318 KM long 400 kV electricity transmission line, which will run through Lapsephedi-Ratmate-Hetauda and Ratmate-New Damauli-New Butwal. It is going to touch 30 municipalities in 10 districts, and Galchhi Rural Municipality and Nilkantha Municipality are two of them.
Road Maintenance Project Kick off Meet organized to sensitize various stakeholders
Kathmandu,1 August 2019
Introduction of new technology in road maintenance is planned for the strategically important roads of Nepal. Full Depth Reclamation,adopting the principle of reuse/recycling existing pavement material and Super pave technology are the new techniques Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-Nepal). is preparing itself to demonstrate in the country . This technology is one of the activity MCA-Nepal will carry out to improve the quality of roads in Nepal with part of the US $ 500 Million grant agreement,signed between the Government of Nepal and USA.
On 1 August, a Road Maintenance Project (RMP) Kick off Meet was organized in Kathmandu to sensitize various stakeholders on new periodic road maintenance technology envisaged and share project technical assistance support activities .planned by MCA-Nepal. The project is a significant component of MCA-Nepal, the government entity accountable for execution of two projects including an Electricity Transmission Project under the agreement within five years.
Chairing the program, Ms. Pramila Devi Bajracharya, Joint Secretary at Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation, opined that MCA-Nepal activities on both the energy sector and the road sector were of vital importance for the economic development of the country. She added,”There will be challenges to the project, such as road safety and quality assurance working under local conditions,as well as to Department of Road in providing continuity to the road maintenance management system. So both of the entities should discuss further to address the foreseen challenges.”
Mr. Khadga Bahadur Bisht, the Executive Director at MCA-Nepal, presented an insight on overall features of MCA-Nepal activities in the country and expressed his commitment for the road sector enhancement especially with a focus on introduction of the new technology expected to bring about a big change in maintaining strategic roads in Nepal.”Apart from the maintenance works, the project will be providing technical assistance to the Department of Roads and Roads Board Nepal on improved data collection and techniques, preparation of appropriate road maintenance plans driven by economic justification, improved prioritization of periodic maintenance,improved contracting and contracting management, including integration of improved road safety features and improved project management.” he added.
Introducing Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) as a donor that emphasizes country ownership and focuses on impact, Deputy Country Mission Director at MCC, Sanjay Poudyal mentioned, “MCC only funds projects that are expected to have demonstrable impact on economic growth. MCC countries identify priorities for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction; develop investment proposals in broad consultation within society. Upon compact signing, MCC countries establish a local entity to manage and oversee all aspects of implementation,using MCC funds.”
Mr. Keshav Kumar Sharma, Director General, Department of Road, expressed his belief that the technical assistance and the new technology on periodic road maintenance in Nepal would bring about material change to the road sector as a whole and thanked MCC for the support. Expressing the commitment for the increment in the budget allocation for road maintenance,he also assured to provide necessary cooperation and support for the success of the project. Mr. Krishna Singh Basnet, the Executive Director of Road Boards Nepal, emphasized on the finalization and implementation of the cooperation agreement between MCA-Nepal and Road Boards Nepal.
Mr. Saroj Kumar Pradhan, Deputy Director General, Maintenance Branch, Department of Road,expressed his eagerness to acquire support from MCA-Nepal for Department of Road, especially on Technical Assistance and introduction of Full Depth Reclamation and Super pave technology. Mr. Sudhan Shrestha, the Project Manager for Road Maintenance & Technical Assistance at MCA-Nepal, highlighted that the project implementation would result in reduced road roughness & vehicle operating costs and increased skills and experience, necessary to plan and implement road maintenance combined with an increased level of funding.
The meeting was participated by 72 officials, representing Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport,Ministry of Law Justice and Parliament Affairs, Department of Transport Management, Department of Road, Roads Board Nepal, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, DFID, JICAFCAN, Cardno etc. MCA-Nepalis in the preparatory phase to implement the US Government Grant of US $ 500 million and Government of Nepal’s contribution of US $ 130 million in electricity transmission line construction and road maintenance in various parts of Nepal. The Government of Nepal has declared the Electricity Transmission Project, which is responsible for the construction of 313 KM of 400 kV double circuit transmission line as a ‘Project of National Pride’.
Local people eager to welcome one more hydro-power related initiative in the electricity hub
Nuwakot, 19 July 2019. Nuwakot, a district with along history in hydro-power generation and popular as a hub of green energy, started a new discussion on a new electricity related project to be launched soon on 18 July 2019.
Representatives from various sectors in Nuwakot were exchanging information and opinion on the planned construction of an electricity transmission line and a sub-station, going to be implemented by Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-Nepal) under the Compact agreement between the Government of Nepal and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the US government.
Almost 50 years ago, the first large scale hydro-power project in Nuwakot – Trishuli Hydro-power Station – was established, which was followed by Devighat Hydro-power Station, commissioned in 1984. Recently the construction works of the 37 MW capacity Upper Trishuli III B hydro-power project has been started in Kispang Village Municipality of Nuwakot. About a dozen of new hydro-power plants are going to join soon in its electricity generation drive making it an important hydro-power hub.
The Introductory workshop on the Electricity Transmission Project of MCA-Nepal was organized aiming to sensitize government agencies, people’s representatives and local stakeholders on the MCA-Nepal and its activities, and collect their perspective on the activities to be incorporated in Nuwakot.
The Chief Guest of the Program Narayan Prasad Khatiwada, a Member of Federal Parliament, said, “We cannot compromise with the development efforts in an endeavor to uplift the living standard of people, but it should not be at the cost of environment and people’s property. People should be justly compensated if we use their property for the project purpose.”
He further emphasized on the need of sharing all information regarding the project at once and not in piecemeal way, and requested to address the needs of directly and indirectly affected people. He also suggested to rent the land under Right of Way (RoW) instead of providing the owner one time compensation.
Drona Pokharel, the CDO of Nuwakot District, mentioned that the project should try to minimize the adverse impacts against local people in the course of its implementation, and provide adequate compensation to the affected people as per guidelines and laws of the land.
He added, “We should cooperate to complete the project in time so that we demonstrate our capacity and convince the international donor community in providing us with support for other large development projects in future.”
Highlighting on the Compact program, Khadga Bahadur Bisht, the Executive Director at MCA-Nepal, said, “It is a unique grant received from US Government for the economic growth of Nepal. Two projects – Electricity Transmission Project and Road Maintenance Project – have to be completed within five years using the grant of US $ 500 million, and before project enter into force, we have to achieve some mandatory conditions precedent.”
Talking on the electricity development and challenges in Nepal, Bisht shared the inter-relationship between electricity consumption and economy citing examples of Asian countries like Bhutan and Laos.
He mentioned that petroleum products are addressing the biggest chunk (60 %) of our modern energy need, and the portion of electricity is only 13 %. Stating the reality as an obstacle for the country’s economic development, he stressed on the need of infrastructure development for electricity development and distribution.
He informed the audience, “The 318 KM long 400 kV Lapsephedi-Ratmate-Hetauda and Ratmate-New Damauli-New Butwal electricity transmission lines are a part of the National Master Plan on Transmission Line and it will create a milestone in the context of electricity trading with the neighboring countries.”
Shedding light on environmental and social safeguard requirements and implementation timeline, Shyam Krishna Upadhyaya, Quality Assurance Manager– Environment, Health and Safety at MCA-Nepal, informed that different international and national policies were going to be followed for the environment and social protection activities.
According to him, the program has amended its preliminary alignment route of the transmission line significantly considering minimizing the impact on the natural and social environment as well as public and personal property.
Explaining components and status of Electricity Transmission Project to the audience, Sanjay Sharma, Project Manager-Sub Stations at MCA-Nepal, stated, “The project is constructing three sub-stations, and one of them will be at Ratmate in Nuwakot district. All of them will be Typical 400 kV Gas Insulated Substation (GIS). It will also be interfacing with existing substations of Nepal Electricity Authority at Hetauda and Lapsiphedi.”
Updating the participants on the progress, he mentioned, “We have consulted with local stakeholders in 30 municipalities, conducted geo-tech surveys for 60 locations and identified sites for New Butwal sub-station and New Damauli sub-station, while decision is pending for Ratmate with three options.”
Mr. Shiva Prasad Dhakal, ESP Specialist – Land Acquisition at MCA-Nepal, informed the program safeguarding policies of the project focus on protecting the people and environment and enhancing environment sustainability.
He added, “The program is assessing three options of sites for the construction of Ratmate Sub-Station currently, but it will start the process of land acquisition by the end of August and start to distribute compensation amount by the end of December.”
MPs of Province No. 3 Asha Maya Tamang, Keshab Raj Pandey and Dina Nath Khatiwada shed light on the importance of organizing public hearings at the local level to address any grievances, which would contribute towards the success of the project, and appealed to have a positive approach, create awareness and a conducive environment for the project.
Appreciating the information sharing initiative, participants suggested to use community forestland only if there is no alternative and to have minimum disturbance to the natural beauty of the surroundings. They also requested to prioritize partnership with local NGOs at the local level and to inform local people about the social benefits under the MCA partnership program. They also advised to consider the people living nearby the acquired land also while distributing compensatory benefits.
Ms. Shalini Tripathi, Deputy ED of MCA-Nepal, had welcomed the participants at the beginning of the program, and requested to take ownership of the project it being a national pride project of Nepal.
The workshop was participated by 46 local participants,
representing various GOs, MPs and NGOs in Nuwakot.
Audience in the hall was full of confusion at the start of a stakeholder consultation in Hetauda, but seemed satisfied and happy at the end.
Local participants of the event organized in Hetauda were carrying reservations regarding the alignment plan of electricity transmission lines if it would have adverse impact on their private property, public structure or heritage sites. They heaved a sigh of relief when they found the program has addressed their concerns regarding the route and paid attention to minimize the impact of infrastructure development initiation on the project locations.
Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-Nepal) organized the consultation with representatives from local governments and Community Forest User Groups on 13 June 2019 to share the final alignment route of proposed 400 kV electricity transmission lines and preliminary findings of Environmental Impact Assessment Baseline Survey of the area with local stakeholders, and to solicit local perspectives on proposed alignment from them.
The program was one of the important series of consultations with local stakeholder in 30 municipalities through which the transmission line is going to cross.
Introducing the Electricity Transmission Project (ETP) of MCA-Nepal, Rajendra P. Thanju, the Quality Assurance Manager for Social Inclusion and Resettlement in MCA-Nepal, highlighted the importance of availability of green energy for the economic development, and said, “ETP is an initiative to fill the infrastructure gap for the development of energy sector in Nepal with an assistance from the US Government.”
“It is obvious that any development projects have some impacts on physical and natural life, but impact minimization and mitigation have been prioritized in this intervention based on the guidelines of the Government of Nepal and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the donor agency”, Thanju informed the audience.
“I have worked in impact studies and management of high voltage power projects before joining the program, but this is the first project in which such a concerted and serious attention is paid to minimize and or mitigate the impacts, and concerned people are consulted”, he added.
Madhukar Khadka, are presentative of a consultant firm to MCA-Nepal, took the participants a tour of electricity transmission towers, to be constructed at different locations in Hetauda, with the help of a slide presentation, and asked them repeatedly to observe keenly if there were any public structure or human settlement or heritage site under the cable.
“I was worried if our suggestions regarding the alignment of the towers, forwarded earlier with an objective to avoid locations with public importance, were incorporated or not”, Nara Nath Subedi, the Chairperson of Ward No. 19, said, “I found the route has been improved considering our inputs, so I am relieved.”
“We have been victimized by various transmission lines time and again. Previous projects have acquired our land without providing compensationin a satisfactory rate. One transmission line has not provided us the compensation yet. The story shouldnot be repeated by this project”, Manju Roka, the Secretary of Dalit Women Association, Makawanpur, added, “Development is must, but it shouldn’t be achieved at the cost of people’s interest.”
Responding to her and othersimilar concerns raised by most of the participants, Shyam Upadhyaya, theQuality Assurance Manager for Environment, Health and Safety in MCA-Nepal,mentioned, “The acquired land and shifted private structures will be fairly compensatedbased on a rate, determined by a Compensation Fixation Committee, formed under the Chief District Officer. Any land lying under transmission lines will also be compensated in lieu of some restrictions on their use.”
“We don’t have nice experience about the replantation of trees. While cutting trees in our community forests to clear land for the construction of such infrastructure, projects commit nicely to compensate with sufficient replantation, but in practical, they don’t”, Sadhu Ram Chaulagain,the Makawanpur President of Community Forest User Groups’ Federation, “This project should ensure the replantation of trees and conservation of them.”
“I was having a negative thought on the project before joining this meeting. Now my confusions and fears have been cleared well. I have found the present version of alignment consisting enough positive changes”, Nawa Raj Subedi, the Chairperson of Ward No. 19, stated.
The transmission line arrives in Hetauda Sub-Metropolitan City from Ratmate crossing some hills in Galchhi, Thakre, Kailash and Rakshirang, and a 12.19 KM long part of the transmission line travels through Ward No. 3, 11 and 19 of the Municipality. There will be total 41 towers inthese wards.
MCA-Nepal is in the preparatory phase to implement the US Government Grant of US $ 500 million and Government of Nepal’s contribution of US $ 130 million in electricity transmission line construction and road maintenance in various parts of Nepal. The Government of Nepal has declared the Electricity Transmission Project, which is responsible for the construction of 313 KM of 400 kV double circuit transmission line as a ‘Project of National Pride’.
“We are now aware and ready to make contributions for the national development, and we are happy to have the opportunity, but we would be happier if our concerns are also addressed in the course of implementing the program.”
It was a comment forwarded by Karuna Gurung, the Vice-Chairperson of Bandipur Rural Municipality, after listening about the Electricity Transmission Project (ETP) of Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-Nepal) and watching the route map of the transmission line stretched above Bandipur Rural Municipality.
MCA-Nepal organized the stakeholder consultation meeting to disclose the alignment and to share preliminary results of Environmental Impact Assessment baseline survey at the office of Bandipur Rural Municipality with an aim to brief representatives of the local government and Community Forest User Groups on 5 June 2019.
This was one of 30 stakeholder consultation meetings that MCA-Nepal organized in June 2019 to ensure preparedness of the community for implementing its transformative project in the power sector. This activity was part of MCA-Nepal’s commitment to transparency and community outreach.
“All of our villages are connected with electricity, but electricity poles are made of wood. We have to change them every year, which is a troublesome work. It would be great if you replace them with metal ones, ” Santa Bahadur Gurung, the Chairperson of Ward No. 6 of Bandipur Rural Municipality voiced his expectation.
Highlighting the need of such transmission line with high capacity, Shyam K. Upadhyaya, the Quality Assurance Manager at MCA-Nepal, said, “Nepali Private Sector is producing electricity, but there is a lack of transmission line with sufficient capacity to carry the energy all over the country. So this government project is particularly important to distribute power across the country.”
Madhukar Khadka, a representative from a consultant firm who conducted baseline survey for MCA-Nepal, mentioned, “We have drawn the alignment of transmission line route keeping in mind that there should be minimal disturbance to the physical, biological, human, religious and cultural heritage sites.”
Displaying an electronic map of the alignment route on a wall, he requested the participants of the consultation meeting, “Please watch carefully if there is any human settlement, religious or heritage site under the electricity cable or not! Although we have technically put a lot of attention to detail, your input is very valuable to validate that there are no major mistakes in our understanding of your locality. If there are places to correct, we will definitely try to do that.”
“We appreciate the way you have taken the route, and thanks for the same. But how are you going to compensate the land that is going to be acquired for the construction of towers?”, Krishna Prasad Lamichhane, the Chairperson of Ward No. 2 of Bandipur Rural Municipality, questioned.
Mr. Upadhyaya addressed his query, “As per Nepal’s Land Acquisition Act, 2034 BS, there will be an independent Compensation Fixation Committee, to fix the price of land under the leadership of the Chief District Officer. We will be providing compensation according to the decision of this committee. Lands acquired for towers will be compensated, and lands under the right of way will be provided pre-defined proportional per cent of its value as the ownership of such lands will remain with the owner.”
Out of six wards in the municipality, four wards, i.e. Ward No. 2, 3, 4 and 6 are going to be affected by the activities of the project.
The ETP of MCA-Nepal is going to install 23 electricity transmission towers, out of total 1039 towers, in Bandipur Rural Municipality under its program to construct a 400 kV electricity transmission line from Lapsephedi to New Butwal, a border city with India. A length of 7.1 KM of electricity transmission cable, out of total 313 KM, falls in the area of the municipality.
Millennium Challenge Account Nepal, an accountable entity formed under Development Board Act, 2013 by the Government of Nepal, is gearing up its consultations for constructing electricity transmission lines and maintaining roads mobilizing Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funding of US $ 500 million and Government of Nepal’s contribution of US $ 130 million.
This website was made possible through a grant given by the people of the United States to Nepal through the Millennium Challenge Corporation under the terms of a compact signed between the two countries. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Government or the Millennium Challenge Corporation.