Infrastructure development discourages agriculture production in DotiThose families who were self-reliant are now completely dependent on the market for their daily supplies.
Daudagaun, one of the remote villages in Doti, was recently connected to a road network. Prior to this, its residents had to walk for a whole day to reach Dipayal Silgadhi, the district headquarters of Doti. Now, they can reach Dipayal within a few hours of travelling.
However, easy access to market places has discouraged agricultural production in the village, locals say.
“Our village got connected to the road network but we are not happy, as most villagers have become dependent on market places for food. No one wants to grow vegetables and crops these days,” said Lal Bahadur Joshi, a resident of Kanachaur. “The low agricultural productivity has encouraged local youths to go to India and other countries in search of employment opportunities.”
The majority of local units in Doti have prioritised the construction of roads. They have allocated huge budgets for building rural roads, but they are not concerned about preserving the ecology, locals complain.
Four years ago, six people were killed and 200 displaced due to multiple landslides at Sayaligad caused by haphazard construction of roads. The landslides also swept away three hydropower projects.
“The recent development trend has brought more malpractices than prosperity. We cannot combat capital flight by sending human resources out of the country in search of jobs,” said Shiva Shankar Timilsena, an associate professor of Economics in Doti Multiple Campus.
Bharat Bahadur Khadka, a resident of Adarsha Rural Municipality who works in India as a daily wage worker, said 90 percent of the male population in his village is working in India.
“We can earn more money in a short period in India than from working in farmlands,” Khadka said.
Dipak Bhatta, a PHD scholar studying the Nepal-India migration pattern, said, “The government has not collected any factual data on the number of Doti residents working in India.”
According to the National Census 2011, Doti has 41,440 households with a total population of 211,746—97,252 male and 114,494 female.
“Doti is rich in natural resources. But the people of Doti are unable to utilise these natural resources,” said Tek Narayan Paudel, chief district officer. “The people’s representatives are only interested in infrastructural development. If they could take initiatives to preserve and utilise these natural resources, it could help in the development of several villages and also help maintain the ecology.”