Residents of village beyond Mechi River left in lurch



With the onset of monsoon, locals of Dolobasti village located beyond the Mechi River have been left in a lurch due to lack of bridge over the river in Jhapa.

Dolobasti, home to 300 families in Ward 3 of Bhadrapur Municipality is located beyond the Mechi River.

Indigenous people belonging to Rajbanshi, Gangai, Tajpuriya, Mahato, and Santhal communities inhabit the village. They are Nepali citizens.

The Mechi River used to flow from the east of Dolbasti until 57 years ago. A big flood in the river changed the course of the river 57 years ago. Since then, Dolbatsi is known as the village beyond the Mechi River.

Local Shree Prasad Mahato of the village said they experienced a hard time for three months during monsoon every year. “Construction of a suspension bridge started to connect the village five years ago. But, the bridge is yet to completed”, said Mahato.

According to local Umesh Mahato, a gravelled road connecting the Mechi River with Dolobatsi operates only in winter.

“The road is usable only in winter. Once the monsoon sets in, the road becomes unusable and locals from Dolobasti are trapped in the village,” he said.

Locals from the village have to risk their lives to get to Bhadrapur to buy groceries and medicine. “We used to go to India to buy essentials in the past.

But the lockdown has prevented us from going to India to buy essentials,” Mahato added.

Another local Surya Gupta said bridge construction had become a fairy tale. Ward 3 Chair Kamala Thulung expressed hope that bridge construction might be completed this year easing people’s movement.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 1, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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