Bahuni in Morang awaits petroleum exploration since 1988
January 26, 2020 12:24 PM NPT
By: Amar Khadka
ITAHARI, Jan 26: The government had decided to conduct exploration of petroleum product in Bahuni of Belbari, Morang in 1988. The locals are still waiting for the exploration project to begin since the initial study phase was completed three decades ago.
“Three decades have already passed in hopes of exploration of petroleum material in the village,” said Narayan Lingthen, local of Belbari ward number 8, “The condition is the same as it was during the initial phase in 1988.”
“It is very quiet there. Only two locals of the village are working as security guards at the site,” he told Republica, “Two years ago a team with a Minister came for inspection which gave us some hope but after that, there is no development.” Locals of the village have been requesting the local authorities to resume exploration of petroleum product time and again.
According to Bimal Limbu, member of the local community forest group, villagers have sent their request to the federal government but they have not received any reply yet. The government had started exploration of petroleum product in Bahuni of Morang after the Indian blockade of 1988. After 27 years, locals had demanded exploration of petroleum product in Bahuni after the Indian blockade of 2015.
On March 23, 1989, the transit agreement between Nepal-India expired and the Ministry of External Affairs of India blamed Nepal for not being able to renew the agreement and the blockade ensued afterwards. After the blockade, SIPM Company of Italy had begun exploration for petroleum product in the area. But after the initial phase, the work was stopped and the government did not taken any initiative to resume the exploration work. The Department of Mines and Geology has hired two security guards to secure the area since then.