English | Dzongkha Monday, October 23, 2017

Draagteng villagers reject MHPA’s compensation

Surjaman Thapa, Trongsa
Mar 28, 2017

Some 17 households of Draagteng Gewog in Trongsa have rejected the compensation paid recently by the Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority (MHPA).

The villagers were compensated after their houses developed cracks due to ongoing project works.

They blamed the trucks for causing cracks on the walls of their houses, which are located near the highway. Trucks travel several times ferrying construction materials to the MHPA project sites. Locals allege that the trucks travel at high speed.

After a joint verification by Trongsa Dzongkhag Administration and the MHPA project authorities, the affected households were compensated. The highest compensation paid was slightly over Nu 8,000 and the lowest was Nu 193.

The 17 affected households received a total of Nu 44,969 as compensation.

One of the affected residents, Phuntsho Dema from Changray Village was compensated with only over Nu 2,000. But she is disappointed with the meager amount which will not be sufficient to repair her house.

“The Volvo Trucks, when they move every time, shakes the house along with the ground. In January, the cracks were small, but it is widening by the day. And there are countless hairline cracks all over the house. So I don’t know how they decided to compensate us.  If they do not want to give, it is fine. It is useless to accept such small amount,” said Phuntsho Dema.

 Like Phuntsho Dema, other affected villagers have refused to accept the money. Their viewpoints were nothing different from her.

“Even in the village, we need to pay at least Nu 500 along with food and beverages to hire people. But they just gave me Nu 380. It is less than a man’s daily wage. Even if they are not hesitant to give the money, I am embarrassed to receive the amount. It will cost me not less than 5 to 6 thousand ngultrum to repair the house as I need to buy cement and sand. A bag of cement costs over Nu 400,” said another affected house owner, Phurba.

They feel a thorough investigation to examine the extent of damages should be carried out to provide sufficient compensation.

“They will have to investigate the extent of the damages thoroughly depending on the size of the house and compensate accordingly. The compensation they provided cannot repair the damages at all,” said the affected house owner, Karchung.

The Draagteng Gup Kinzang Dorji said, he regrets accepting the compensation money and will soon return it to the project authority.

Nevertheless, the Dzongkhag Administration has written to MHPA to further investigate into the matter and compensate the residents as per the damaged caused.

 

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