Dailekh farmers forced to queue for days to get compensationThe farmers had to stay up to five days in a queue to receive the amount from the bank.
In April this year, a hailstorm lashed Thhatikaadh Rural Municipality in Dailekh, destroying the crops of around 1,500 households spread over the municipality’s three wards.
The affected families appealed to the authorities for compensation. Nearly eight months after the incident, the local units have announced that all farmers in the rain-affected areas would get Rs2,764 in compensation.
But locals say they are having trouble collecting the compensation, with some having to stay up to five days in a queue to receive the amount.
Indra BK, a farmer from Ward Number. 1, spent three days standing in line outside a bank.
“I think I have to consider myself lucky. Some received the amount only after five days,” he said. “Since most of our crops were destroyed by the hailstones, this compensation will help us make a living to some extent.”
According to BK, it takes about two hours to reach the bank near the rural municipality’s office.
“I left all my household chores to come to the bank and collect the amount,” said Balu Budha, another farmer who also received her compensation after three days. “The trouble was because the bank (NCC bank) lacked officials.” The bank began distributing the compensation from late September. According to Hari Shahi, technology officer at the rural municipality, the compensation amount is handed over to a total of 1,446 farmers. For this, the provincial government had allocated a total of Rs 4 million.
But the farmers have complained that receiving the compensation was fraught with delays and complications.
“The slow process of compensation distribution is because there is only one bank in the entire municipality,” said Shahi. “On top of that, it was the festive season so the footfall was intense.”
Dipak Shahi, another local, lamented the fact that they had to wait until the festive season to receive the amount since the decision to distribute the compensation was made a week after the incident.
“It seems like the decision was made only to appease the shocked farmers,” Shahi said. “I don’t understand why we had to wait for eight long months and stand in queues for days just to receive the meagre amount.”