ILAM, March 27: There was a time when people used to migrate to the district headquarters permanently or temporarily in search of better opportunities. However, the same people have started moving back to their home-villages, thanks to the new federal restructuring of the state.
Now, people will no more have to move to the cities, leaving their homes and loved ones, in search of education or jobs. This unfortunately has reduced the charm of the district headquarters. The District Land Revenue Office (DLRO) has witnessed a significant decrease in land transactions in the headquarters in the last one year. "Earlier, around 5 to 10 land transactions would take place in Ilam Bazaar everyday," said Deukumar Lawati, information officer at DLRO, adding, "Now that has decreased here but it is booming in the villages."
DLRO now handles the land purchase deals of all the local units except Deumai Municipality. From now onwards, all the land transactions of Deumai Municipality will be handled by the municipal office where a separate Land Revenue Office (LRO) has been established. Surya Pokhrel, mayor of Deumai Municipality said that there are long queues of people selling and buying land at the LRO. "Direct road connectivity with Jhapa and Paanchthar has attracted more number of people to the municipality," said Mayor Pokhrel.
Until a few years ago, Deumai was a rural village but that changed with the access to roads and other facilities. Now, almost all the roads here are blacktopped and many large-scale road, drinking water and irrigation facilities are under construction. These projects have already grabbed the attention of a lot of people.
According to the details provided by Ilam Municipality, the number of people building houses in the district headquarters has also decreased in the last one year. "Yes, there has been a fall in the number of people buying or building homes in the headquarters, but that still is not a major fall," said sub-engineer at the municipality, Meghnath Dhungana.
Meanwhile, the population has increased in Suryodaya Municipality after the local elections. Not just that, the real estate business is flourishing in the municipality, according to Mayor Rana Bahadur Rai. "More people have started migrating to our municipality and this is all due to the infrastructures and facilities," said Mayor Rai. The population of Mangsebung Rural Municipality, too, has been increasing in recent days. "Those who had migrated to Jhapa have started returning to their villages," said Ramraj Poudel, chief administrative officer of the rural municipality.
There are four municipalities and six rural municipalities in Ilam. In comparison to other infrastructures, road connectivity has been given the highest priority in the district. "With the development of infrastructures, the differences between cities and villages are slowly coming down," said Ganesh Baral, chief of the District Coordination Committee (DCC).