Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), a state owned corporation, is implementing the project called '220 kV Marshyadi corridor transmission line project' in Lamjung district, Gandaki province. The project is to transport the electricity towards Kathmandu and India. This project is a part of Nepal Power System Expansion Project (PSEP) in which the European Investment Bank (EIB) is funding nearly 100 million euro. The PSEP is a component of the South Asia Sub regional Economic Cooperation Power System Expansion Project largely funded by the Asian Development Bank.
Gurung, Tamang , Ghale indigenous communities – together with other non-indigenous communities –are affected by the project. The project has been initiated violating National and international laws including social and environmental standards and principles of the European Investment Bank (EIB). LAHURNIP and Accountability Counsel (AC), a US based organization, have been providing legal support to the affected communities.
In October 2018, the FPIC & Rights Forum, a collective of affected communities, filed a complaint with the EIB’s Complaints Mechanism requesting mediation to help resolve their issues with project financiers, promoters and government authorities. The EIB’s CM conducted an initial assessment in March 2019 and issued an assessment report in July 2019 offering to facilitate a dialogue between the community and the NEA. Unfortunately, the NEA refused mediation now CM is undertaking an investigation into whether the EIB complied with its social and environmental rules. FPIC & Rights Forum has developed FPIC Protocol with the technical support of LAHURNIP and launched it on 8 October 2020.
The EIB CM has issued Conclusion Report on April 22, 2021 that suggested the EIB must take urgent steps to respect IPs rights to FPIC. The report stated that the NEA has not fulfilled the conditions for the disbursement and recommended the EIB to provide the further financing for the project if the project company meets certain social and environmental benchmarks. The FPIC & Rights Forum, LAHURNIP and Accountability Counsel issued a joint press release.
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