The construction of the first phase of Mechi-Mahakali Electric Railway has been halted for two weeks because of local obstruction over compensation. Locals of Raniganj of Sarlahi district have halted construction saying they want more money for the land that is being acquired for the tracks.
They have been protesting at the same spot where the Minister for Physical Planning and Transport Bimalendra Nidhi laid the foundation stone for the project’s 108-km Simara-Bardibas section two weeks ago.
The locals have also formed a struggle committee and put forward their demands to the Home Ministry and other concerned government bodies.
“Unless the government revises the compensation for our land, the construction will be halted,” stated Bishwamitra Rijal. Depending on the area, the government is paying between Rs 30,000 to Rs 2.2 million. Locals’ opposition has caused the construction company Gajarmukhi daily losses worth hundreds of thousands of rupees. “Construction materials worth millions of rupees have already reached the site but the work cannot resume unless the compensation issue is resolved,” says site in-charge Mukunda Kandel. The issue is being addressed at the ministry level.
Progress on hold, Bhrikuti Rai