As the elections draw nearer, Prime Minister KP Oli has launched seven major projects worth billions of rupees in his constituency, Jhapa-5.
The Nepal Government is investing an additional NPR 18.77 billion in PM Oli’s hometown for seven different projects which will be constructed in Karnal Rural Municipality, Gauradaha Municipality and in the northern part of Damak Municipality.
Prime Minister Oli’s district is one of the biggest recipients of the government’s budget.
Damak will be home to one of the biggest upcoming projects, an industrial park spread across an area of 2,200 bigha and worth NPR 333 billion. Prime Minister Oli signed an agreement with China in 2015-16 to build the said project. So far land acquisition for the project has been completed and compensation for the acquired land is being distributed.
According to Industrial Districts Management Limited Chairman Nanda Kishor Basnet, 421 bigha of land has been distributed and the ownership of 942 bigha of land has been purchased by the company.
“Land acquisition in Kamal Rural Municipality and Gauradaha Municipality is under way,” Nanda Kishor added.
Damak’s Ward 3 will also have South Asia’s tallest Buddha statue, standing 542 ft high. The project is spread across an area of 254 bigha of land and will cost NPR 15.75 billion. However, land acquisition for this project is yet to be completed following the ongoing dispute with a community forest.
According to the Damak Municipality, the constitution provides forest ownership equally to federal and province levels, which has complicated land acquisition in the areas.
“The detailed project report (DPR) for the project is ready. We are currently discussing the project with donor countries,” said Nabin Baral, Damak Ward-3 Chairman adding that it is being used to attract tourists traveling to Lumbini.
The above project will be accompanied by Bauddha University, meditation centers, and schools. China, Myanmar, South Korea, and Vietnam will be investing in the project.
The government is also focusing on building embankments along all of Jhapa’s rivers. A Chinese firm has already submitted a DPR on the project, which will begin later next year.
“Once the embankments are built along all the rivers, these will protect the residential areas as well as the fertile land from the monsoon floods,” said Som Portel, District Coordination Committee Chief, Jhapa.
Department of Water Induced Disaster Prevention Senior Engineer Arbind Kumar Gupta says that the embankments will be built on both sides of the rivers in Jhapa. After project completion, the district will have a total of 500 kms of embankment.
The government is also coming up with an 18-story view tower building in Damak with an estimated cost of NPR 2.74 billion that is now open for bidding.
The Ministry of Urban Development will be building a state-of-the-art conference hall, Damak Sabha Griha that costs around NPR 284 million. Both, the construction of the view tower and the conference hall will be taken up by the Ministry.
The government is also coming up with a stadium which will be spread across 35 bigha of land in Kamal Rural Minucipality-5.
Damak Multiple Campus Chief Uttam Bhattarai said that PM Oli, who was criticized for not doing anything for his hometown, has finally fulfilled his responsibility with the launch of these seven major projects.