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Majhi culture will be considered while building hydro project: PM Deuba



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By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Oct. 5: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has assured the people of the Majhi community that the government would preserve the culture of the Majhi community people while building the proposed Sunkoshi Hydropower Project-2 in Ramechhap and Sindhuli districts.
During a meeting with a delegation of the Majhi community from Ramechhap district, the Prime Minister said he would collect detailed information about the possible impact of the proposed project on life and culture of the Majhis.

The delegation of the representatives of project-affected people of Ramechhap had called on Prime Minister Deuba at the latter’s residence in Baluwatar on Monday.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Deuba inquired with the concerned officials about the possible impact of the project, said Badri Tiwari, Under Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Deuba said that the project couldn’t be stopped but safety measures would be taken to protect and manage the Majhi settlements, said Tiwari.

The delegation also drew the Prime Minister’s attention to preserve the culture of Majhi community, including their rituals to feed water of the Sunkoshi River, as soon as a baby is born.
In response, Prime Minister Deuba assured that the project would be forwarded ahead by addressing their demands, he added.

The team led by Rita Majhi, a member of Bagmati Provincial Assembly, informed the Prime Minister that the culture of the Majhi community, from life-to-death, was linked with the Sunkoshi River.
As per the feasibility study of the proposed project, the reservoir-based project will generate 1,110 MW electricity. Environmental impact assessment of the project is currently underway.
Rita Majhi said that Ramechhap is considered as the place of origin of the Majhis who are now living in 68 districts.

She further said that if the Majhi community was displaced from its place of origin, their civilization would disappear. As per the study, about 800 households are maintaining their livelihoods by fishing in the Sunkoshi and Tamakoshi rivers.
She said that about 4,000 Majhi people will be affected by the project. Earlier, the delegation of the Majhi community had met Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal apprising her of their problems.