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२८.१२°C काठमाडौं
काठमाडौंमा वायुको गुणस्तर: ९५

Why is someone walking to the capital in the heat?

Actions such as indiscriminate exploitation of rivers and streams, destruction of forests, construction of development structures should be curbed. Local governments should also take the lead in conservation work and should work hand in hand with local communities.
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Every day there are reports of rising temperature in Terai, as the temperature rises above 42 degree centigrade, life has become terrible. However, regardless of this scorching heat, 22 people from Madhesh are walking towards Kathmandu on foot, most of them are women. Unaware of the 'jargon' of Chure encroachment, forest destruction, unscientific development system, uncontrolled exploitation of rivers and streams, these ordinary people are members of the communities mainly affected by climate change.

Why is someone walking to the capital in the heat?

They are measuring the distance of the highway in this hot summer to explain the seriousness of the problem to the government when water is not only needed to irrigate the fields, but also to wet the necks of the family. They started their trek from Bhardah in Saptari on May 16 and are arriving in Kathmandu this week. The question raised by the pedestrians is serious and sensitive. This is a matter that should be of interest not only to them, but to the entire country and the world. But since the government is not interested, they are trying to attract attention by coming to the federal capital itself.

The water problem is raging in Terai-Madhesh, where more than half of the country's population lives. There is no doubt that the main reason for this is the destruction of the Chure area. The Chure area, which is recharging the underground aquifer for Terai-Madhesh, is in the grip of encroachment. Chure is also susceptible to weak and steep topography with loose bedrock. When the state did not pay attention in time, Chure felled forests and lived in unorganized settlements.

Uncontrolled exploitation of rivers and streams, uninterrupted timber smuggling for a long time, construction of structures such as randomly dug roads in the name of development have put the Chure area at risk. Land erosion has increased in Chure area, heavy rains cause landslides in places. When it takes the form of a flood, there is a problem of destruction of the agricultural land of Terai-Madhesh or accumulation of rocks. Productivity is declining in areas known as grain reserves. On the other hand, in the Terai-Madhesh region, the source of water is drying up. Disasters like fires are also increasing.

These 22 people are walking in the Tantlapur sun with the problem of how the future generation will get water and cool air while the problem is looking serious. 55-year-old Shantidevi Yadav of Janakpur-19 Pulchowk in Dhanusha is joining the walk to convey the demand that the source of drinking water should be protected. Chapakal has started to dry up in his house since the spring of 7 years. 58-year-old Nanda Mukhiya from Janakpur, who is living a miserable life after the wells and ponds started drying up, is in the team. Victims of the problems caused by deforestation and indiscriminate exploitation of rivers, their campaigns can pressure the state to intervene urgently in the conservation of natural resources, and can motivate the general public to become aware.

Chure is spread over 137 municipalities in 37 districts from East Ilam to West Kanchanpur. The problem of encroachment, deforestation and exploitation in this area has not started now, it has been going on for decades. But the problem has become complicated because the state did not pay attention in time. Recently, government and non-government agencies have been running various forest conservation programs in Chure and Terai-Madhesh, but such programs have not touched the lives of ordinary citizens.

The government had introduced the President Chure protection program since 2066. President Chure-Tarai Madhesh Conservation Development Committee was formed in 2071 to advance the integrated plan by giving it a larger form. The government has kept it as a project of national pride. But since billions have been spent through the committee, the effectiveness is negligible. Participants of the walk are also asking this question.

Their conclusion is that the government's readiness to prevent forest destruction is low, and there is a problem in coordination between the concerned government agencies. Forest encroachment does not seem to have been removed. Padayatris say that employees who get appointments and transfers based on political access are not serious about forest protection. They also demand that effective measures should be taken to stop illegal crusher trade and gravel-sand exploitation in Chure area rivers. It has been suggested that Madhesh should be declared a dry area and a fire control plan should be made. The hikers are also demanding from the government to vacate the encroached land in Chure area and expand the forest.

The government should immediately listen to the demands of the pedestrians. This is not only their problem, not only the people living in Terai-Madhesh, but also the future generation. Therefore, the government should take seriously the protection of forests, rivers and streams in Chure and Terai-Madhesh. Common citizens should also be made aware.

Indiscriminate exploitation of rivers and streams, destruction of forests, construction of development structures should be curbed. Local governments should also take the lead in conservation work and should work hand in hand with local communities. Conscious citizens and stakeholders should think - why is someone running towards the capital today in this hot heat?

प्रकाशित : जेष्ठ ७, २०८१ ०८:२४
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