PI and dzongkhag to help resettle affected families

Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

Twelve individuals who received land substitute in Langlugang in Gasetshogom, Wangdue for their land lost to Punatsangchhu I hydroelectric project (PI) will soon receive basic amenities from the project and the dzongkhag.

The land development for terracing and houses construction would begin this month.

According to dzongkhag focal person for PHPA affairs, Jigme Dorji, after a consultation meeting, the PHPA and dzongkhag decided last year to provide the recipients of the land substitute also with basic facilities.

There are 118 households (includes two institutional land and structure) affected by the project.

Of that, 23 are adversely affected families (AAF)—whose land and houses were affected by the project. Unlike these households, the other affected landowners would not receive basic amenities.

Today, the project management and the dzongkhag provide facilities such as road accessibility, water supply, electricity and also help develop the land.

Work to construct water supply to Langlugang would also be tendered this month.

Jigme Dorji said that for land and road development, machinery would be provided by the dzongkhag while fueling and other charges would be borne by the PI management.

The 12 individuals in Langlugang are also to receive electricity soon. An estimate of Nu 2.3 million (M) has also been drawn by the dzongkhag. Electricity supply work will be executed by the Bhutan Power Corporation while payments will be made by PI.

Similarly, drinking water supply to relocated households in Jatshokha and Rinchengang have also reached the site. “The water needs to be distributed to individual households now,” Jigme Dorji said.

The 11 households in Jatshokha will receive water from Nahi with a budget of Nu 1.9M within few weeks.

PI Managing Director (MD) NC Bansal said that in accordance with the Development Policy 2008, one member each of the 23 AAF was also provided employment till completion of the project.

Another provision of the policy also promises free electricity of 10,000 units per acre/annum or pro-rated once the project is commissioned until the life of the project to worst-affected households and others affected by the project.

Irrigation facilities for those who only lost land were also promised.

Today, the project-affected individuals have either received land substitute or have received monetary compensation.

Of 118 affected individuals, eight had less than 10 decimal. They received monetary compensation.

According to MD NC Bansal powerhouse construction, switchyard or central workshop construction, operational and maintenance (O&M) residential and office complex construction, dam submergence, and realignment of the national highway affected the land and homes of these individuals.

Of 118 cases, four are based in Punakha. There are two pending cases.

“Their desired land area and the one provided by the dzongkhag and the project management didn’t match,” Jigme Dorji said.

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