Appeal: After losing the case, the four mining companies above Gidawom, Thimphu appealed to the High Court on March 31.

The companies now will fight a legal battle against the 29 villagers from Gidawom and Jamdo village in Mewang gewog at the high court.

The companies’ legal representative, Ugyen Dorji, submitted to Thimphu dzongkhag court’s Bench II that his clients were not happy with the ruling and wished to appeal against the decision.

“The verdict was based on the evidences and submissions from the villagers and didn’t consider the submissions from his clients,” said Ugyen Dorji in his appeal letter to the court.

The 29 villagers from Gidawom and Jamdo communities took the four mining companies to court because of adverse impact the mines caused to health, water, and properties of the people of the two communities.

After more than 20 months of trial, the mining companies were told to respect the terms and conditions of the agreements they’d drawn with the communities.

The court asked the mining companies – RSA Private Ltd, Taktshang, and Riverview – to compensate the eight houses in Gidawom. The villagers alleged that the blasting at the mines caused cracks on their homes.

The court found the companies guilty of causing cracks on the homes of eight households on July 21 in 2014.

The three companies have to pay Nu 745,530 to the eight households. Of the eight, the worst affected house will receive Nu 285,981 and the least affected will receive Nu 18,036 for the damage.

The compensation is based on the calculation by the engineering services department of works and human settlement ministry.

The companies were also asked to blacktop the road till the mines, prevent the factory wastewater from entering the irrigation channel and improve drinking water supply within a fixed period of time.

Tshering Palden