Nepal | August 21, 2019

Road project in Panchthar leaves Majhi families in a lurch

Himalayan News Service

Panchthar, April 19

A road under Tamor Corridor Road Project has been a curse for local Majhi farmers in Hilihang Rural Municipality-7, as its construction has damaged irrigation facility rendering their farms barren for two years.

Some 22 Majhi families in the rural municipality are forced to leave their land uncultivated after the water channel that irrigated their field got damaged at Kopchebimire during the construction of a road under Tamor Corridor Road Project.

“We were somehow eking out a living by growing crops on the land we had procured on lease. But ever since the water channel got damaged, growing crops on the land has been difficult, severely affecting our lives,” said Jas Bahadur Majhi of Majhitar. He added, “Though development has brought happiness to others, for us it has resulted in sorrow.”

The Majhi families were originally boatmen-cum-fishermen who used to earn their living by getting people cross the river on their boats and catching fish in the Tamor River.

But ever since a bridge was built over the river to link Panchthar and Tehrathum about two decades ago, they could no longer afford to work as boatmen and had to solely rely on fishing for survival.

“We were somehow sustaining our life by catching fish, but we had to leave that profession too after the fish stock in the river started decreasing due to construction of the hydropower projects and other reasons. As a last resort we took up farming, but that too has been difficult after the water channel got damaged,” said another local, Mangal Bahadur Majhi.

 


A version of this article appears in print on April 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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