Land acquisition underway for petroleum exploration in Dailekh

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By Our Correspondent,Dailekh, May 27: The process for land acquisition has started to begin drilling work for petroleum exploration in Sheersthan and Nabhisthan among other areas in Dailekh district.

The government of Nepal and the government of People’s Republic of China had signed an agreement for Nepal Petroleum Exploration during the China visit by the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oil in 2016.

The cabinet meeting on February 6 had given permission to acquire 45 ropanis of land in Ward No. 1 of Bhairabi Rural Municipality in Dailekh under the Nepal Petroleum Exploration project. After the decision, a preliminary report was prepared on the situation of the land in the area. A notice was recently published by the Dailekh District Administration Office after studying the report.

“The notice asks people whose lands will be acquired to come with their land-related documents to claim for compensation within 15 days,” said Gogan Bahadur Hamal, Chief District Officer (CDO) of Dailekh.

Similarly, the notice has also allocated a 35-day time for the landowners to take away any structure that stands above the lands. Lands of 24 individuals will be acquired in total, officials informed.

The 45 ropanis of land is being acquired as the drilling work requires 22,645 square metres of land.

After the then Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Yadav inaugurated the exploration project by reaching Nabhisthan on July 1, 2019, experts and technicians of the China Geological Survey under the Ministry of Natural Resources of that country completed work related to seismic, geological, magnetotelluric and geochemical surveys.

By March 2020, the Chinese team had returned after completing the surveys amid the fear of COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic had caused delay and restricted the teams to complete the exploration work by 2022. On March 28, 2022, the cabinet extended the exploration project’s deadline by two years.

“While the lands are being acquired, works are underway to upgrade the roads to bring the equipment necessary for drilling,” said Dinesh Nath Tripathi, a geologist at the Department of Mines and Geology.

Meanwhile, Tripathi informed that the Finance Ministry had been requested for permission to upgrade the road from Surkhet to Sangatda, but had not received a positive response yet.

Tripathi also informed that the Karnali Province government had also not responded to the request to upgrade Sangatda-Jambukandh road section.

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