Sera Jyula area in Bajura eroded by Budhi Ganga RiverAt least 2,000 ropanis of arable land in Sera Jyula have been swept away by the river, according to the Agriculture Knowledge Centre.
The Budhi Ganga River in Bajura has been eroding paddy fields for the last two decades. Sera Jyula in Belkatiya is the most affected by the erosion with thousands of ropanis lost to the river.
“The entire area is deserted now. Around 99 percent of the paddy fields have been swept away by the river in the last two decades,” said Bal Bahadur Thapa, a local. “Only a small part of land near Ghattekhola is above water now. But that patch too is at risk of erosion.”
According to the Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Bajura, at least 2,000 ropanis of land in Sera Jyula have been swept away by the river.
Min Prasad Jaisi, an officer at the centre, said there was good arable land in Sera Jyula where villagers used to cultivate paddy and wheat. Jaisi said, “This land used to produce around 3,500 quintals of paddy and 3,000 quintals of wheat worth around Rs 20 million every year.”
People of four major settlements of two villages (Brahmatola and Kuldevmandu) owned the land. Nara Bahadur Rana, a local, said that his life has become difficult after he lost his fields to the river. “We are going to move away from this area. There’s no other alternative now,” he said.
Although the victims who lost their land to erosion have frequented the concerned authorities demanding measures to control erosion, none of the authorities has paid heed to them so far. “We have informed various political parties and their leaders about our situation; we ask them to help us every election. But they only provide us with false assurances,” said Shuvaraj Padhyay, a local.
Despite their land being washed away, residents of Sera Jyula have been paying land revenue. Hemanta Padhyay said he has been paying tax for his piece of land every year. He said, “I paid Rs 1,500 for the land last fiscal year although my plot has been swept away in the hope for compensation.”
The entire Sera Jyula area is today filled with sand and pebbles washed in by the river. As they have no other alternatives, some of the locals have started extracting sand and pebbles from their land and selling them to contractors. Lilaram Padhyay, a local man, said they collected Rs 150,000 by extracting sand and pebbles and distributed it among 35 families last year.
A landslide in Guigad has also added to the woes of the locals in Belkatiya. The landslide which has reached up to 7 km high deposits debris into the river and blocks its flow. This causes soil erosion not only in Sera but also in Kailashmandu area, locals say.
According to Khadkaraj Joshi, a teacher, locals from Bajedi, Guiwan, Nimani, Gumlagaun, Densayal, Hatelek and Basali have been already displaced from their settlements. Joshi said, “No authority has paid any attention to controlling either the landslide or erosion.”