Rautahat, August 7
Farmers of Durga Bhagawati Rural Municipality in Rautahat staged a chakkajam today to protest toxic chemicals discharge by high-handed local factories, which caused huge damage to crops.
Irate farmers protested and enforced an hour-long chakkajam at Bhediyahi along the Gaur-Chandranigahapur road section.
Paddy planted in hundreds of bigaha land have been destroyed by toxic chemicals released in the local Jhanj River from the factories.
“The chemically polluted water has ruined entire fields and no action has been taken against the irresponsibly regulated factory-plants” said Pacharukhi farmer Ramanand Yadav, adding, “Such things have happened in the past as well but nobody has taken action against the industries.”
CPN-Maoist Centre local leader Dharmendra Kumar Jha informed that a memorandum has been submitted to District Administration Office and District Agriculture Development Office demanding action against the factories.
“As the concerned authorities are mum, farmers had to resort to agitation,” Jha argued.
“Until and unless the problem is solved, the protest will continue, and we’ll extend the chakkajam by hours every day,” he said.
“Gone are the days when we would be satisfied with compensation; we won’t stop our protest until stern action is taken against such distilleries this time,” said Yogendra Yadav, a local of Gaur Municipality and the central member of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal.
On his part, Cheif District Officer Uddhav Bahadur Thapa said that his office has directed the District Agriculture Development Office to study the damage and submit a report.
“As the investigation is on, the plants, if found guilty, won’t be spared,” he said.
Earlier, following extensive damage to paddy crops cultivated in thousands of bigaha land due to the toxic discharge, then CDO, on the basis of an investigation and reports of all sides, had ordered Baba Distillery, Jyoti Distillery and the distillery plant of Shreeram Sugar Mills, to pay Rs 80 million in fine.
The case is at the Supreme Court after the industrialists filed a writ against the CDO’s order.
A version of this article appears in print on August 08, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.