Access to road brings prosperity to a village in Surkhet

Published On: October 26, 2019 07:05 AM NPT By: Nagendra Upadhyaya

SURKHET, Oct 26: Sixty-one-year old Bhim Bahadur Budha of Dharepani is on cloud nine after his village got access to road network. The locals do not have to walk for over five hours carrying heavy loads any more to reach the market place in Bhotechour. Earlier, he used to visit the market twice or thrice a week carrying heavy loads of fruits and vegetables.

“I used to carry beans, bitter gourds, potatoes and other vegetables to the market. Since there was no transportation service, I had to walk for hours and the route was risky,” he said. 

Farmers like him had no option than to get through the steep mountain slopes to reach the market with their products. And while returning back, they used to bring home daily essentials. 

“We used to bring salt, oil, pulse and other essentials from the market,” Budha reminisces. 

With the road network reaching the village recently, the locals are very excited. According to Budha, prosperity has arrived in their place. Recently, he sold off all the vegetables of his fields just at once. 

“I did not have to carry my vegetables to the retailers. Dealers come here to collect fresh products themselves,” Budha said. “I sold off vegetables right from the fields,” he added. 

What has excited him is the higher rate for his products. Dealers offer him impressive rates for his potatoes, beans and gourds. Similarly, it has now become easier to sell dairy products. 

“We had no means to store our products. And taking them to the market was full of hassles. Our products used to get wasted,” he elaborated. 

The village in Gurvakot Municipality – 3 is also known for the best quality of milk products. And Budha and other farmers like him can now sell fresh milk, butter and cheese.

“We now feel that Bhotechour market is close by. Everything is going smooth now,” Budha said. 

Locals believe that the road network will also stop youths from going to India for job. No sooner than they reach the age of 14 or 15, boys head to ‘Kalapahad’ to find jobs. “That is still a trend here, because of the lack of opportunity. They migrate to India,” said Budha. “Even now, many of our people are working there in India. But I think this will come to an end,” he added. 

Another local of the village Lok Bahadur Khatri states that the village will now witness agricultural growth. When their products get market, locals will be encouraged to invest more time and energy for agriculture, he noted. 

“Despite having great potential in agriculture, this village was eclipsed. This scenario is going to change,” Khatri claimed. “When they get good profit, they will be lured to switch to modern farming,” he added. 

Dharepani is famous for ginger and black pepper. However, due to the hassles of transportation, few were into this business. According to Khatri, the road network will give a new life to the farming of ginger and black pepper too. 

“Our products have even reached Europe. Black pepper from here is that much famous. We have organic products. 

But very few tried their hand in this type of farming in lack of awareness as well as means to sell the products,” Khatri said. He added that the access to road is going to make people shift focus to cash crops. 

The soil of Dharepani is considered suitable for several types of herbs. Professional farming of herbs can now attract them as well, locals say. 

The government had allocated budget for the road to this village three years ago. 

People were anxious that the road project had had not gained pace in the beginning. 

However, after the provincial government and the local government came in place, such developmental projects got priority. 

According to Mayor of Gurvakot Municipality, Hasta Pun, the local government extended road to the village just in six months. “This was a very long dream of the people here. 

We are further extending road network. It will reach every village here,” he said.

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