BAJURA: Locals of Budhinanda Municipality in Bajura district have criticised the local level government for the return of Bhawani Baks Battalion of the Nepal Army stationed at Kolti for 18 years to its headquarters in Achham on Monday.
The battalion, which was deployed at Kolti during the insurgency, had been stationed for the past three years at Budhinanda Campus building in lack of its own space. The area occupied by the battalion prior to this was deemed insecure, due to natural causes, by a technical team of the army, ordering them to move out.
Locals claim that local authorities and other concerned parties have not expressed their interest in providing land for the barrack despite the army’s repeated attempts, leading to its recall.
The battalion has moved its equipment through a helicopter while the army personnel of the battalion trekked back to Achham.
However, Nepal Army spokesperson Bigyan Dev Pandey said, the Kolti barrack was established to facilitate peace and security during the conflict period, and now that the security system is strong in the region, the barrack has been called back to its headquarters.
The battalion could have continued to be a tremendous support in the region during natural disasters, for airport security as well as VIP escorting. But the local authorities have made no effort to maintain the army barrack in the region, claimed local Kashiram Bista.
Budhinanda Municipality spokesperson Krishna Raj Padhya claim that the municipality had attempted to procure land for the barrack but could not complete the process for various reasons including price and location.
Padhya further added that the municipality executive committee meeting had made the decision to provide land at a cost of Rs 1,000 per square metre but the locals refused to accept that decision.
Since Nepal Army cannot keep the barrack stationed at the campus building for an extended period and as it could not find land for establishment of a permanent barrack, the headquarters gave orders for the battalion’s return, informed Major Hariram Kumar Shrestha at Bhawani Baks Battalion “Ka” in Kolti.