OIBN interacts with MPs representing palpa district

KATHMANDU: On August 9, the Office of the Investment Board Nepal (OIBN) organized an interaction with the people’s representatives from Palpa district to discuss issues regarding the Hongshi Shivam Cement project. The project’s mining site is located at Nisdi Rural Municipality of Palpa district while the plant is in Nawalparasi (East) district. Senior officials of OIBN led by CEO Mr. Sushil Bhatta interacted with Honorable Mr. Dal Bahadur Rana, a member of the Federal Parliament; Honorable Mr. Narayan Acharya, a member of the Provincial Assembly; Mr. Radha Krishna Timilsina, a former member of the Constituent Assembly; Mukta Singh Saru, chairperson of Nisdi Rural Municipality, Palpa.
On the occasion, the people’s representatives stressed on the need to explore an appropriate solution to the dust problem, stating that dust generated by trucks plying along the 28 km road between the plant and mine site is negatively affecting the environment and causing serious health problems in the local community. They suggested that some schools and health posts impacted by the dust be relocated to a better location, roads be upgraded to ease vehicular movement, and at least one km in dense settlement be black-topped to reduce dust pollution in those areas. Similarly, they asked OIBN to put further pressure on relevant government agencies to develop access roads and transmission lines for the project and stressed the need for frequent interaction between the project developer, IBN and the local community to maintain better relations with the community. They also demanded that the project increase employment opportunities for locals, arrange free health checkups as part of its CSR for local residents living along the access road, and establish a police check post near the mining site to improve local security.
Speaking on the occasion, OIBN CEO Mr. Bhatta said there must be a regular follow up mechanism to monitor the activities of the project as well as document and address local concerns. Mr. Bhatta also stressed the need for frequent interactions/dialogues between the project and local people to address outstanding issues in an amicable manner. OIBN Joint Secretary, Mr. Mishra, said challenges and opportunities come together, and OIBN is committed to continuing the necessary facilitation to resolve contentious issues and remove existing bottlenecks in the process of project implementation. OIBN consultants Mr. Ghanasyam Ojha, Mr. Ratish Basnyat, Mr. Prabhakar Ghimire, Mr. Ganesh Acharya and Ms. Suvechha Nepal were also present on the occasion. ♦