Suffocated by road dust, locals stage protest

- Aman Koirala, SARLAHI
The protesters say they were forced to stop the vehicles from plying as their calls to blacktop the road have gone unheard

Nov 9, 2017-Locals of Jutpani along the Malangawa-Nawalpur road section in Saralhi on Wednesday blocked off vehicles for hours to protest the bad road and dust that they say was suffocating their community. 

They have been demanding for long that concerned agencies blacktop the road. 

The protesters said they were forced to stop the vehicles from plying as their calls to blacktop the road have gone unheard. “We are facing difficulties due to the dusty road; we are extremely concerned about our and our children’s health,” said Ramesh Kafle, a local of Jutpani. 

A construction company had been awarded the contract to blacktop the road twice in the last six years, but there is no significant progress, said locals, adding that the concerned authorities have failed to pay attention to the damaged road. 

 “We are exposed to various health hazards due to the dust from the road,” said Ishkilal Paswan, executive member of Lalbandi Municipality, adding that people were forced to organise the protest after their concerns were not addressed. The 25-kilometer Malangawa-Nawalpur road connects the East-West Highway with the district headquarters of Malangawa. The road was blacktopped 10 years ago, but has not been repaired since, said locals. 

“Our kitchens and bedrooms always have layers of dust emanating from the road,” said Rambalak Das. 

This is, however, not the first time the locals have organised a protest demanding a better road. They had also submitted memorandums to authorities. 

On Wednesday, locals called off their protest after the local authorities assured necessary measures, including using water sprinklers for the time being, to address their concern. 

Published: 09-11-2017 07:48

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