I Hardly Bring My Salary Home: Ganesh Bh Chhetri, Madhuban Mayor-Bardiya

Interview News Politics

Saturday, August 21, 2021-
What are the main tourism attractions of Madhuban Municipality?
-We have the famous Bardiya National Park, Buffer Zone, Dalla Homestay, Tarataal lake, Bagraiya lake, biological route area, Kushmadevi temple, VijayKalika temple, Martyr’s road along others. One can enjoy the rich Tharu culture and bio-diversity at it’s best. UK prince Harry had stayed in the famous Dalla Homestay, popular in the region.

What are the physical infrastructure development being done ?
-Most importantly, we have focused more on construction of roads in our municipality. Blacktopping has been done on the main roads. We have built 5 technical educational institutions for hotel management, electrician, sub-overseers, law along others. We have recruited teachers from the municipality resources. The big highlight is the 25 beds hospital. Six crore rupees budget has been alotted for the same.

What has been done in the agricultural sector?
-Allowances have been given to the farmers those who are in need. The municipality has been alloting 20 lakh rupees, as loan and many cases if the farmers are unable to pay the interest; the municipality pays for them. Annually, the municipality has alotted 1 crore rupees for the same. We have also focused on seed production. And allowance have been given upto 4 lakh rupees. Also, agricultural equipments with concession of 50 to 75 % has been distributed. We have the buffer zone in our area and solar fencing has been around to protect the crop from the intrusion of the wild animals. Also, compensation has been given incase of loss caused by the wild animals.

Madhuban has a porous border with India, at times is there any problem ?
-Compare to other border line areas, we have very less disputes. We share the border stretch with Baharaich of India, there are many youths in Indian Army from our villages. But we have not experienced much serious issues so far.

How is the covid-19 situation being handled?
-Many people have lost their employment during this phase. But very poor people who don’t have anything to eat can approach us at any time. We have been providing them with ration and other food stuffs. I have been personally moving in the villages rescuing the sick people for hospitals. The ambulance service has been made totally free of cost. The province has been giving 1 lakh rupees to the victim family; while our municipality is also planning to provide extra 50 thousand rupees. Any citizen in our municipality can approach us in their difficulties.

Tiger attacks have become common in your region. What has been done ?
– Yeah, we have been urging local people and visitors not to go to the wild life sanctuaries. They could go to community forests, but in group for fodder and firewood collection. Solar fencing have been done around the region and lights setup along the risky zones. Cameras have been also fixed for monitoring. We don’t encourage villagers to move out at night time and urge them to stay in their houses. The family of the victims have been compensated and injured given proper treatment. Efforts have been made to reduce the human-wildlife conflicts. A master plan is being developed for the same. We have been always working together jointly with the stakeholders inorder to lessen the problem. However it has been a serious problem.

To sum-up, how has been your tenure ?
-Due to Covid-19 a lot of work has been hampered. But we are quite satisfied with our performance. Since some time we have been busy with providing relief to the covid-19 patients. Earlier phase was busy with creating isolation centres along others.
Politically, some people blame federalism and speak against it. But as a representative of a local level, I can confidently say that the development at the bottom level is all possible because of it. Had there been no federalism in the country, the local units would be compelled to be satisfied with the meagre amount of 10 lakh rupees alone. Now we can utilize the budget of crores of rupees as per the category and level. The physical infrastructures have been developed at a speedy rate. So one thing we have known that, we do have money and the difference is that earlier it was centralised; while now it has been disbursed across the country. Earlier, in our region the people who were forced to wash vessels at the big Jamindars houses, days before any ceremony have revolted. The proletariat classes have raised their voices against the discrimination and suppression. People’s War has given back their rights and most of them have become people’s representatives and some reached the policy making level. Had there been no people’s war, we would not be able to see this transformation.
Besides this we have been giving the HIV positive patients 1000 rupees per month. Even before the covid-19 situation, the people could use the ambulance at a very cheaper rate. People with different abilities are also being provided with equipments, they require. I have been always in the field with the people listening to their queries and trying to solve their problems. My salary is around 40000 and generally I don’t bring a single penny home, because I use that too for the benefit of the needy people in my municipality. Scholarship has been also given to poor and orphan children. The orphan children have been given education with shelter. Women have been encouraged to go to hospitals for child birth. They get the allowance of 950 rupees each.
Afforestation has been given priority to maintain balance of the eco-system. Embankments have been build to protect the settlements along the rivers. As mentioned earlier, technical education has been provided with a aim to create employment opportunities for youths in the country. We have been very much flexible in addressing the problems of the people. Anyone in trouble or need can approach us without any hesitation.