Kathmandu. Chitwan’s Madi municipality-9 Bandarjhula (Hanumanjhula) has not yet received electricity from the national transmission grid.
Nepal Electricity Authority had called for a tender for electrification in Bandarjhula two years ago by allocating a budget of 2.5 million rupees. However, the tender process for electrification was stopped after the Chitwan National Park Office sent a letter not to carry out any plan to encourage unorganized settlements in its central area and promote encroachment. The park informed that no project should be carried out in Bandarjhula area and action will be taken in accordance with the National Parks and Wildlife Protection Act, 2029 and the Intermediate Area Management Regulations, 2052 if it is done without permission. Bandarjhula area in Bikat of Chitwan is an area connected to the thori of Parsa and the Indian border.
More than 3,500 people of about 800 households have been living in Bandarjhula, which has been claimed by Chitwan National Park. On the other hand, Nikuncha has been saying that the settlement should be relocated to another place as the settlement has been encroached on its territory. Since they have been living in that area since October 2047, the locals have been claiming the land they have been enjoying for years.
Some people are using solar energy as electricity from the national transmission line is not available. Electricity has reached to the village of Parsa, which is about 2 km away from that area.
After seeing the problem of electrification, a team including Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority Kulman Ghising, Head of Hetuda Division Office, Head of Chanauli Distribution Center visited Bandarjhula area on Sunday and interacted with the locals.
The executive director of the authority, Ghising, said that due to the legal arrangements and procedures, the park could not be electrified when the process reached the final stage after calling for a tender to allocate the budget to bring electricity to the Bandarjhula area.
Mentioning that if Bandarjhula’s settlement is relocated, the electricity structure will also be removed, Managing Director Ghising said that since it is the authority’s responsibility to supply electricity to the residential area, the initial work has been done by ensuring the budget for this.
“The state should provide minimum facilities to foreign refugees, but the citizens of their own country cannot be deprived of basic facilities like electricity. It is a matter of the state whether to relocate the slums. In the case of complete electrification, electricity should be provided to the citizens living in hot places, even if there is a house/settlement. Ghising said.
“If the settlement is relocated in the coming days, the electricity structure can be moved, so we express our commitment to bring electricity to Bandarjhula as soon as possible.”
He mentioned that because of the proposed Nijgadh Second International Airport in Bara, Tangiya Bastiba residents in Jitpur Simra Sub-Metropolitan City-16 have been living in the dark for years, so that if the settlement is removed later, the electricity structure will also be electrified accordingly.
Ghanshyam Duwadi, Ward President of Madi Municipality-9, requested that electrification should be carried forward immediately, as the park is not being allowed to work smoothly, but in practical terms, investments are being made in the development of Bandarjhula area from the federal, provincial and local levels.
“Banderjhula has a secondary school, 2 basic schools, an armed police border security post, and a health institution, but due to lack of electricity, we are not able to operate the school’s science laboratory and the Worthing Center (maternity house) established at the health post, so electricity should be connected immediately.”
Dilip Vick, a local resident, said that while the residents of Bandarjhulab, which is bordered by India, are working as border guards as uniformed soldiers, before the announcement of the intermediate zone, the settlement was deprived of electricity in the name of relocation.