Ward 9 locals stage demonstration over shortage of drinking water in Dharan

Sunsari, January 13

Local residents in Dharan Sub-metropolis-9, Sunsari, today staged a demonstration over the water scarcity they have lately been facing.

Accusing the Water Corporation of deliberately creating shortage for the sake of commission, angry locals carrying empty vessels, such as pails, pitchers and jerry cans, rallied to the Dharan-13-based Water Corporation branch office, padlocked it and staged a sit-in there.

The demonstration was organised at the initiative of Dharan-9 ward Chairperson Ratna Bahadur Katawal, who is also coordinator of the Drinking Water Struggle Committee.

As irate demonstrators tried to assault the branch chief senior engineer Ram Kumar Shrestha during the protest, police had to resort to normal force to take the situation under control.

Ward Chair Katawal accused the water corporation staff of creating a crisis for the sake of commission.

“The water crisis is a sham created for commission from those who supply water through tankers and operate water-bottling plants,” he claimed, adding they were forced to agitate after their frequent delegations to the water corporation regarding the crisis drew a blank.

Branch Chief Shrestha admitted that there were problems regarding water supply in ward number 9 but attributed the same to some technical issues.

“People in the particular ward have issues related to water supply, but the crisis is short-term; there is a billion-rupees worth project being constructed under the Integrated Urban Development Project now, which will resolve the crisis for good once it is completed,” he said.

He added that his office has not brought forth any new project to increase water supply capacity given the under-construction project.

The water project under the IUDP is being built at an estimated cost of 3.0029 billion rupees. While the Asian Development Bank has granted 22.07 million dollars in loan for the project, the Government of Nepal and Dharan sub-metropolis has chipped in Rs 515.8 million and Rs 324 million respectively for the water project.