Flood-hit stage night-long sit-in

MAHENDRANAGAR: Throughout the night on Sunday, 60-year-old Lahani Devi Dangaura, along with some 200 locals of Pipaladi VDC, braved incessant rain and hunger to stage a sit-in in front of the District Administration Office, Kanchanpur.

They had gathered at the DAO since noon yesterday demanding rehabilitation for flood victims who had been displaced in the floods some ten months ago. Their lands and houses were swept away in the flood.

Banda Rana, an elderly woman, who had walked for 6 hours to participate in the sit-in, said, "We spent the entire night under the open sky in protest hungry as we didn't have money to buy food.”

Ever since they were displaced, the 200 households of Pipaladi VDC - the flood victims -- have been staying in make-shift camps in Tarapur area of Shuklaphanta Wildlife Conserve.

"We have lost everything in the flood. However, all that the government has offered us is hollow assurance. We have been compelled to stage protests as our repeated calls for help has fallen on deaf ears," said Prakashduta Bhatta, president , flood victim struggle committee, adding that the government should arrange for their food and shelter now.

According to Bhatta, the local administration had asked the flood victims to temporarily stay in the conserve area. "But after we moved there, we have been completely ignored," he complained. The villagers said that their village had turned into a barren land by the flood.

The flood victims have been demanding 10 kathhas of land for each family in the same area. The struggle committee has warned of intensifying their protests if the authorities turned a deaf ear to their demands.