Koshi victims on relay hunger strike for 11 days

Koshi Barrage hunger strike

INARUWA, Aug 27: The people affected by the Koshi River have been staging relay hunger strike at the Koshi barrage for 11 days demanding compensation and fulfillment of their three-point demand.

According to Mahadev Chaudhary, president of Koshi River erosion and inundation affected people’s struggle committee, their demand includes compensation amount as per the agreement reached between the representatives of the Government of India and Government of Nepal in 1954 during the time of constructing the Koshi barrage.

The affected people have claimed that the Indian authorities have provided Rs 800 million to the Government of Nepal for distribution as compensation for the 7,000 bigha land which has been verified as having been damaged by the Koshi River, but the government has not provided the compensation to them.

According to the committee, more than 53,000 bighas of land have been affected by the Koshi river.

The struggle committee has also called on the Indian government to provide compensation for the remaining 46,000 bighas land that is affected by the Koshi River.

Former lawmaker Nagendra Jha warned of obstructing the construction works of the undergoing pilot channel by the Indian government if their demands were not met.

The Koshi-affected people from Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur who have joined the relay hunger strike said they should be compensated for the damage caused to their crops, their land should be protected and the remaining compensation amount given to the affected people as stipulated in the agreement.

Former lawmaker Manpur Chaudhary said that they would be compelled to announce more protest programs if the government fails to address their justified demands.

Although the Government of India had agreed to provide compensation to the families who lost their agriculture land and crops after the construction of the barrage, more than 15,000 families are yet to get compensation for over 53,000 bighas of their land, it has been learned.