ADB to pull out from Bagmati Project
By Binu Shrestha, Kathmandu, May 23: Asian Development Bank (ADB) is going to pull out from the Bagmati Beatification Project due to delay in the construction of the UN Park caused by the sit-in protest of Bagmati land victims.
Construction works on either side of the river from Gokarna to Guheshwori were halted on February 22 owing to the protest of the Bagmati Victims Struggling Committee (BVSC) who have been demanding compensation for their land.
They staged the sit-in protest at the embankment of Bagmati River of Nayabasti-ward no. 6 from morning to evening demanding compensation of their land. Over 70 land victims staged sit-in protest continuously for some months, said Balaram Sharma Chaulagai, an adviser to the Bagmati Victims Struggling Committee (BVSC).
Prabhat Shrestha, information officer of the High Powered Committee for Integrated Development of the Bagmati Civilisation (HPCIDBC), said that irregularity of working process of the site is the main reason behind the withdrawal from the project.
The park is being built at the cost of Rs. 3.6 billion under the joint funding of the government and the Asian Development Bank. The government has invested Rs. 60 million and ADB Rs. 3 billion.
The park is being constructed from Gokarna to Guheshwori and Tilganga to Sinamangal on both sides of the river under the Bagmati River Beatification Project.
The Gokarna to Guheshwori section has completely halted due to the protest of victims. However, around 70 per cent work on the park construction has completed of these section, he said.
Of the total budget of the ADB, more than Rs. 10 million was invested and the beatification task of Tilganga to Sinamangal on both sides of the river has almost completed. The final touches to the Gokarna to Guheshwori section is yet to be carried out, Shrestha said.
The HPCIDBC has been constructing the park on the either side of the Bagmati River since 2017.
The land of a few persons was pulled in 2001/2 in the name of maintaining natural water flow of the Bagmati River without providing compensation to the landowners, said Chaulagain
The river area now is 35 meters from Gokarna to Narayantar and 40 meters from Narayantar to Guheshwori.
However, earlier the water flow area in the Bagamati was 15 to 25 meters.
Chaulagain said the then government or HPCIDBC officials had violated the Land Acquisition Act 1977 while grabbing the land of the farmers.
The project is set to complete in 2019.