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Maoists threaten to stop Saptakoshi work

world Updated: Jun 10, 2010 15:12 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Opposition Maoists in Nepal and its sister organizations have threatened to stop work on the Saptakoshi High Dam Multipurpose Project, a joint Indo-Nepal venture in eastern Nepal.

The Maoists have demanded that work related to detailed project report (DPR) of the 3000 MW venture should be stopped as the project is against interests of the local community and Nepal.

“If our voice is not heard, we will stop the project at any cost,” said Muksahang Menyangbo of Samyukta Jatiya Morcha, a Maoist-affiliated organization.

On Wednesday, 15 organisations associated to UCPN (Maoist) had issued a fresh threat to launch a protest if their warning is not heeded.

The Ministry of Energy has requested the organizations not to disrupt DPR work and assured that all concerns would be addressed before any final decision on the project is taken.

“Benefits and negative aspects of the project would be known after the DPR is finalized. Any decision on whether to continue work or not would be taken after that,” said Anup Kumar Upadhyay, spokesperson for the ministry in a statement.

Besides generating power, the 269-metre dam is expected to irrigate 1.5 million hectares of land in eastern Nepal and India, control floods in Bihar and allow navigation.

In 2007 too, the pro-Maoist Kiranti Rashtriya Morcha has issued a threat stop the project if the government didn’t take permission from local residents before commencing work.

Earlier this year, a Maoist-affiliated outfit had stopped survey work on the 250 MW Upper Marsyangdi project, being developed by India’s GMR Group saying it was not in Nepal’s interest.

Giving the same reason, Maoists had also stopped work on the 300 MW Upper Karnali project developed by an international consortium led by GMR Group in January.