PM’s India visit should focus on addressing border and inundation issues
Ramesh Lamsal, KATHMANDU: People living close to the Nepal-India international border have suggested that Prime Minister’s upcoming visit should be focused on addressing the border and inundation problems.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is paying a state visit to India from April 6 to 8.
The side suffering from these problems has urged Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pradip Kumar Gyawali, that the Prime Minister’s visit be focused on resolving these problems.
They have said the Nepalis living near the border have been facing problem arising out of the open border between the two countries and various structures as dams, embankments and roads, and the wildlife sanctuaries built by India along the border.
Stating that a situation has arisen in which problems have been faced in people’s very livelihood and also their right to food being violated due to these structures, they have urged the government to make concrete efforts for addressing these problems facing the people living near the border areas and also to raise these issues with priority during the Prime Minister’s visit.
Dams constructed by India on the rivers at Mahalisagar, Laxmanpur, Kalkalawa, Rasiyalkhurdalotan, Kailsahpuri, Koilabas, Luna and Khando and the embankments on the Nepal-India border have been causing inundation on the Nepal side of the border during the monsoon. Large swathes of land and settlements on the Nepal side are inundated due to this every monsoon and efforts to resolve the problem at different times have not been successful.
Locals from these areas have narrated tales of human casualties, property damage and hardships they have been facing due to the inundation and erosion as well as other problems they have to endure every rainy season.
They said their agricultural land has turned into barren fields due to the erosion and inundation and urged the government to seek a long-term solution to these problems.
Those expressing these views are National Assembly member Ram Lakhan Harijan, Hari Upreti of Jhapa, Keshav Prasad Timilsina, who is the president of the Dudhuwa Sanctuary Wildlife Affected People’s Struggle Committee in Kanchanpur district, Dev Narayan Yadav, an activist of the Protect the Border Campaign, Raj Kumar Shukla, secretary of the Laxmanpur Dam Affected People’s Struggle Committee Banke, CPN (Maoist Centre) politburo member Ghanshyam Yadav and president of the United Nationalist Front Phanindra Nepal.
Border issues to be raised during visit
Minister for Foreign Affairs Gyawali said that these issues would get priority during the Prime Minister’s visit to India and maximum efforts would be made for addressing the problem.
“The present government does not waver even an inch when it comes to protecting the nationality and sovereignty. We would focus our discussion to gradually resolving all the problems and hope that the problems between the two countries would be addressed,” he said.
Minister Gyawali said that the government was aware of the demands of the locals and would pay attention to resolving the problems. “Man-made problems would be addressed through talks while those caused by nature would be resolved internally and external means,” he added.