National

Flood forces Mohanpur residents to flee to India

- MOHAN BUDHAIR, DHANGADHI

Aug 10, 2018-Residents of Mohanpur in Kailari Rural Municipality-3, Kailali have been compelled to take refuge across the border at Dudhwa National Park of Uttar Pradesh in India

after the floodwaters of Mohanan River inundated their settlement.

The locals of the settlement, surrounded by the river from three sides, rely on the Dudhwa National Park for fodder and firewood. They also go out to the Indian market at Chandanchowki to buy essentials. There are 81 households in Mohanpur.

The flooding triggered by monsoon rains means the settlement has been cut off from the administrative centre of the rural municipality. “People can’t reach Mohanpur during monsoon. They have been surrounded by the floodwaters from three sides,” said Bhalmansa Bhagiram, a local of Mohanpur.

With the water in the river to the dangerous levels, people say, travelling to Mohanpur on boats is risky.

Local teacher Binita Chaudhary said leaders had used the people of Mohanpur only as their “vote bank”. “There’s no government facility available here,” said Chaudhary, adding that people are living without electricity, safe drinking water, health, education and other facilities.

People had hopes that the new government will construct a suspension bridge for them. But even the local leaders appear helpless.

“We are forced to take patients to India for treatment," local Nepali Congress leader Ramsamaj Chaudhary said.

According to him, locals of Mohanpur are dependant on forest guards of the Indian national park and Indian Shasatra Seema Bal (SSB). “People of Mohanpur only rely on Nepal for government documents such as citizenship certificates,” he said.

Another Tharu leader Bhagiram added, “We take shelter at Dudhwa forest during floods each year."

While Nepali security personnel rarely come to their rescue at times of distress, Bhagiram continued: "Indian SSB men often lend their hand to us during emergencies.”

The Mohanpur residents have no other alternative to living together in harmony. “We have to take help from forest guards and Indian SSB to sustain our lives,” said Rajesh Chaudhary, a teacher.

Published: 10-08-2018 09:15

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