UHIYA (GORKHA), July 3: The entire village of Uhiya in Dharche Rural Municipality-3 of northern Gorkha does not have any means of telecommunication. Neither Ncell nor NTC cell phones pick up any signal in the settlement. Not just a settlement but an entire ward of the former Uhiya VDC is now inaccessible through telephone communication. The locals have to climb a mountain in search of a proper signal.
Junga Bahadur Gurung, a local of Uhiya, expressed his dismay over the lack of connectivity in the village. “We barely get any information on the whereabouts and wellbeing of people when they go out of the village,” he said, adding, “We have to walk for hours up to a mountain to get a CDMA signal, which too has a lot of disturbances.”
Ward Chairman Indra Prasad Gurung says, “Since there is no telephone connectivity in the village, we have to face extreme difficulties even when locals fall ill or when other simple problems arise. In the absence of telecommunication, works in the ward get delayed by a month or so.”
Communication between the ward and the municipality is very difficult. It takes an entire day to walk from the village to the municipal office. Gurung complained that they have to face extreme difficulty even for planning, taking advices and coordinating with the ward members and government employees in the ward.
Chairperson of the rural municipality Santosh Gurung said, “There is no telephone there. It feels like we have become handicapped due to lack of communication.”
He added that the municipality faces difficulties even when trying to get an update on the ongoing works in the ward, instructing the employees to do their works and coordinating with the locals. He expressed his disappointment over the negligence from district chapter of Nepal Telecom to install telephones in the village even after repeated requests.
Previously, NT had blamed the unavailability of electricity in the village as the reason behind its inability to install telephone service. The villagers collected funds to install electricity in the village in December but the state-owned telecom company has yet to take action. NT officials in the district claim that they are preparing to conduct an inspection to install telephone towers in the village.
“Even though the inspection has been delayed due to monsoon, we are planning to operate the tower by Dashain,” chief of the district office of Nepal Telecom said, adding, “We have already conducted an inspection in Kerauja. The problem lies in taking the telephone towers from Kerauja to Uhiya.”
Locals accused NT of spreading hollow promises claiming that it had made such promises in the past too but no action has been taken.