Flood victims rue govt apathy

- KAMAL PANTHI, Bardiya
Flood victims rue govt apathy

Feb 3, 2015-

People of Rajapur in the district, who have long been suffering from land erosion and flash floods caused by the Karnali River, have gifted a Katro (yellow cloth used for covering a dead body until cremation) to the Chief District Officer (CDO) to express their anger over the government’s apathy towards their problems.  

The Rajapur locals poured their grievances and then presented the yellow cloth to CDO Narhari Baral during a ‘public hearing’ conducted at Rajapur. They said it really did not matter to them whether there was some semblance of government or not in Rajapur as their plight remained the same despite the changes in the overall political scenario of the country.

“We are victimised by land erosion and floods caused by Karnali river every year, but the government has never taken the initiative to prevent its recurrence. Hence, the gifted Katro symbolises that the government is dead to us and we are dead to the government, ” said Bishnu Prasad Sanjyal, representative of the flood victims in the village. Police personnel deployed to ensure safety during the programme had immediately snatched off the Katro wrapped in a white linen from Sanjyal’s hands when the CDO was about to receive the cloth mistaking it for a memorandum of demands.

Sanjyal said that they had decided to give the piece of cloth to the CDO as they were tired of the government apathy even when the annual floods and erosions had displaced many people in the village. He said that many of these displaced families are on the verge of being rendered landless.

“The river has been eroding our land even during the dry season. We will not be able to live here during the rainy seasons, and as our condition is no different than that of a dead person, we presented the Katro to the CDO,” Sanjyal said.

During the hearing, locals also complained about the security situation in bordering Bhimapur area due to the deployment of inadequate number of security personnel. Local Bishnu Rijal complained that wild tuskers regularly enter into their settlement from India, and destroy their crops, houses and sometimes even trample people to death.

“The locals have not received any kind of compensation from any of the concerned agencies,” said Rijal.

During the public hearing organised by the District Police Office for the first time in Rajapur, locals had also expressed their dissatisfaction to the CDO over the lack of any government offices, including branches of Revenue, Land Survey Office and others in Rajapur or places near it. Meanwhile, CDO Baral pledged to try his best to address the grievances and concerns of Rajapur folks.

Published: 04-02-2015 09:13

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