Baitadi folks stage relay hunger strike for 25 days demanding bridge
October 2, 2019 01:55 PM NPT
BAITADI, Oct 2: Its been 25 days since a group of Baitadi folks at Jhulaghat bordering point in Baitadi district have been staging a relay hunger strike demanding a cemented bride over in the bordering point with India but their voices continue to be unheeded.
Jhulaghat Cemented Bridge Construction Struggle Committee Coordinator Nar Bahadur Chand shared that they have been trying to attract the attention of the government toward the issue for so long but it has not come under the radar of the government yet.
Sharing that they had been resorting to creative measures such as singing devotional music, playing Deuda during the protest among others to pressurize the government, Chand said that they would continue with their protest until their demand was addressed.
Another member of the Committee Deepesh Shah argued that since the border point is linked with the development of the far western region, construction of a bridge here has been deemed very important.
Baitadi Federation of Industry and Commerce Vice-President Khimananda Bhatta shared that the locals have been drawing the attention of the concerned authority for more than a decade.
Participants of the protest include representatives of various organizations including transport entrepreneurs, construction entrepreneurs, and hoteliers among others. They also warned that if their demands were not addressed, they would stage relay hunger strike in Maitighar, Mandala in Kathmandu as well.
Around 10,000 locals here had collected their signature and had handed over a memorandum to then Indian ambassador to Nepal in 2002 but no favorable action was taken on it.
They had also handed a memorandum to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in 2018 for construction of a motorable bridge in the border point.
The suspension bridge built by the East India Company over Mahakali Bridge around 150 years ago is being dilapidated and locals seek a strong alternative in its place. Jhulaghat is an entry point to the different mountainous district in the far western region.