Tilathi villagers not to accept govt relief

  • Say the state has always given short shrift to them
- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, SAPTARI

Aug 16, 2017-Tilathi, a small village with around 400 households on the south of Saptari district bordering India, has in recent years become synonymous with flooding.

When torrential rains battered the country over the past week causing floods across most of the districts along the plains, over 150 houses in Tilathi were once again inundated--the fourth time in the last two months. 

Floodwaters from the rain-fed Khado and Jitta rivers gushed into almost every household. Food grains were swept away. Villagers and their cattle have been left high and dry. 

Floodwaters have started receding and rains have abated, but Tilathi locals are struggling to make their muddied houses liveable. There was no human casualty in the village. But villagers are short of food and basic medicines. 

The government has said it has stepped up efforts to distribute relief to flood-affected people. 

But Tilathi locals, who face such floods every year during monsoon, said they do not want relief from the government. 

All we want is a permanent solution to the flooding crisis, they said. “And the solution is a permanent dyke.”

Villagers here feel they have been repeatedly given short shrift by the government. “The state has done nothing,” said Pramila Mishra, who is in her 60s.

Walls of her house caved in when floods entered the village, but she says she does not want anything from the state except a permanent solution that will save her village from flooding. “There is no point expecting ‘some temporary relief’ from the government, only to have our hopes dashed again like in previous years.”

Tilathi locals have long been demanding an embankment to tame the waters from the Khado and Jitta rivers. The government had started constructing dykes, but the project has been halted. Locals said the government wanted to build embankments on private land without compensation. 

Villagers said their concerns have gone unaddressed for so many years because of lack of local representatives. 

“We are not accepting any relief support from the state,” said Pankaj Mishra, a forester.  “The government authorities come here with some biscuits and mostly puffed rice, which hardly last a day.”

 

Flood toll reaches 123

KATHMANDU: Death toll from floods and landslides over the past five days has reached 123, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) said on Tuesday, adding that at least 35 people are still missing. Thousands of houses have been inundated across the Tarai and 80 percent of the arable land has been affected, Home Minister Janardan Sharma said in Parliament. A Cabinet meeting on Tuesday decided to provide Rs 15,000 each to flood survivors as immediate relief. According to the Home Ministry, 13 choppers and around 10,000 security personnel have been mobilised for search and rescue. (PR) 

Published: 16-08-2017 07:34

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment