January 27, 2020 03:06 PM NPT
PARASI, Jan 27: The government of province 5 has started building houses for the citizens of Susta in the West Nawalparasi district, who are deprived of fundamental services. The government's decision has brought happiness to the people.
In the first phase under the project initiated by Susta rural municipality, 150 houses are to be built, said the rural municipality chair Ram Prasad Pandey. Under the project, a plan has been set to build houses for 250 households. The settlements having a majority of mud houses which lie across the Narayani river are every year at risk of flooding.
"The project is meant to recognise the local people's contributing to protect Nepali territories from encroachment and make them feel the presence of the government. We have already launched the project," he said. Pandey inaugurated the housing project amid an event recently.
The province government has allocated Rs 52 million for the project, while the consumers will contribute 15 percent. Each corrugated tin-roofed house will have two rooms and a toilet. "The project completion target is mid-may. Our aim is to replace mud houses. We want to see Susta residents become happy," he said.
Similarly, installation of a solar mini grid plant in the village is underway four months ago in a bid to provide access to electricity for the locals. Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun recently inaugurated the project funded jointly by the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, Tarai-Madhes Prosperity Programme and the rural municipality.
The project completion target is eight months. The village had been in the dark for years without electricity, said Pandey, adding that efforts were underway to dig roads in the village. Both the projects have brought happiness to the local people, said Rabindra Jayaswal, member of the Save Susta Campaign, stressing the need to provide accommodation to all people of the village by giving them citizenship cards.
The settlements in the village housing 3,133 population started from 2022 BS. Of the total 40,980 hectares areas of the village, 14,500 hectares have come under encroachment by India, according to the Save Susta Campaign.
Of the remaining areas, 19,480 hectares have been disputed zones, and 7,000 hectares are being used by the local people. Nine settlements in the disputed areas were relocated to safety after the flooded Narayani river submerged the settlements in 2034 BS.
The Susta people have been facing the brunt of flooding every year due to embankments built by India in its territories causing the Narayani river to take its course to the village.