Water, land titles among voters’ concern

- Post District Bureau, Kathmandu

Nov 29, 2017-Even though the political parties have made tall promises while campaigning for election, voters do not seem to be impressed much, as their demands concern basic needs.

In Dhanusha, people say they will vote for the candidate who can ensure drinking water facility. Kisundev Mahato, 45, of Shreepur in Mithila Municipality-5, said there is a shortage of potable water in their area.

“We started constructing a well long ago but the work is yet to be over,” said Kisundev, adding that politicians had pledged to aid construction of the well during the second Constituent Assembly Elections held four years ago and the recent local level elections as well. “Leaders only make hollow promises. The well is 90 feet deep, but there’s no water.”

This time again, Shatrudhan Mahato, the provincial candidate, assured Kisundev of readying the facility. But locals have no confidence that the winning candidate will return to their village once the elections are over. “We don’t need other facilities, we just need drinking water,” said 60-year-old Rampari Devi.

Hundreds of families are grappling with water shortages in Dhanusha-2. “Every day, I spend at least four hours fetching water. More than 50 families depend on a well in Shreepur,” said Ambika Devi, a local woman.

In Pakistantole of Madi Municipality-3, Chitwan, people say they will vote for those who guarantee them the citizenship certificate. A majority of the Pakistantole residents have no citizenship cards.

“We’ve been living here for long but we don’t feel we are Nepali citizens,” said Akthar Miya, a local, sharing his frustration about the leaders’ unfulfilled promises.

“Many Indians received Nepali citizenship certificates due to their connection with influential people. However, we could not get citizenship certificates though we are living here with our family members,” said Chandreshor Sah, a local. There are 56 families in Pakistantole. A majority of the Muslims in the settlement are without citizenship certificates.

In Rajapur, Bardiya, voters are demanding land ownership certificates. Around 500 villagers are living without land titles for 74 years. “Many leaders assured us of helping with land ownership certificates in the past but they haven’t taken initiatives until now,” said Bishnu Rijal, a local businessman.

“The District Land Survey Office prepared the map to provide land ownership certificates to the locals four years ago. But the authorities have yet to distribute land titles,” said Ram Kumar Baishya, former chairman of the Rajapur Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Four hundred and fifty seven families applied with various government offices four years ago demanding land ownership. As the candidates canvass for votes in Rajapur, people say they are not fully assured that their concerns will be addressed this time around.

(With inputs from our local correspondents)

Published: 29-11-2017 08:26

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