Hill settlements turning empty as people migrate to greener pastures
April 12, 2018 03:00 AM NPT
By: Bira Gadal
BAITADI, April 12: As more number of people begin to migrate into urban areas seeking better facilities, rural settlements in Baitadi district are at risk of remaining undeveloped due to lack of human resource.
Of late, lots of people from rural areas in the district have migrated to the towns as well as the tarai region, leaving the rural settlements almost empty. The excessive migration has deeply hurt the chances of development of the villages.
Road access has now reached rural settlements of the southern region of the district, such as lower Swarad, Purwardi, Chwagadh and some other villages. With the availability of transportation, other infrastructure development are also gathering pace in the rural settlements but manpower crunch is likely to hinder the development process.
The locals have been migrating to Kailali and Kanchanpur districts due to relatively better development. Most of the rural communities in Baitadi and Darchula districts prefer migrating to Kanchapur. Lately, Kailali has also been an ideal destination for them.
The strong trend in migration from hilly region to tarai region has had some adverse consequences. For instance, migration of people from the hills to the tarai has led to the increase in the price of lands in the plains. According to Harish Chandra Bhatta of Puchaudi Municipality-4 of Kailali, the price of lands has doubled in just a year.
Not just people from rural communities, but those living in the cities of the hill district also prefer to migrate to the lowlands of Kanchanpur and Kailali. In this year alone, 72 families from Dashrath Chand Municipality at the district headquarters migrated to the tarai districts. Likewise, around 200 households of Patan Municipality have migrated to the tarai districts in search of better opportunities and facilities.
“There has been a trend of migration to the tarai because opportunities in the hills have not been explored,” said Prithivi Raj Awasthi, campus chief of Jagannath Multiple Campus in Dasharath Chand Municipality. “Opportunities of education, health and employment started becoming centered in tarai, leading to the surge in migration there.”
According to Bhuwan Raj Bhatta, ward chairman of Dasharath Chand-1, people in the district has been migration to the plains due to better opportunities there for education and employment. He warned of severe consequences if migration remains unchecked.
Intellects have been urging the local stakeholders to create better environment for self-employment and prosperity, which could partially lower the demographic change.