Proposed Dodhara-Chandani dry port contributes to increased economic activities



Kanchanpur, Dec 11: The proposed Dodhara-Chandani dry port in the Kanchanpur district has already benefited local people in various ways. Under the project, approximately 900 meters of six-lane road have been blacktopped, and a bridge over the Mahakali River has been completed.     

Following this, the price of land plots in the area has skyrocketed, while the project is expected to create job opportunities for the locals.     

Krishna Datta Panta, 50, of Dodhara Chandani Municipality-1 migrated there some 55 years ago from Baitadi. Now, the area has witnessed many development activities as compared to the past. "The settlement was set up after destroying the forests. I had not imagined that the settlement would see many development activities and the six-lane blacktopped road," recalled Panta.     

In the past, a kattha of land was sold for Rs 200,000 or Rs 300,000. "But at present, the price of peach kattha land is around Rs 8 million," said Panta, who was compensated Rs 4 million for his five kattha land acquired for the blacktopped road.     

The villagers would use the Indian road to reach the Nepali territory for various purposes. "But, the construction of the concrete bridge over the river, and the project have benefitted the locals," he said.     

The proposal put forward by political parties to make Dodhara Chandani a transit of three countries, Nepal, India and China has had positive impacts.     

Along with development activities, many services and facilities have been added. "The project has created hopes for job opportunities for the local people. The situation here is that most of the youths have gone to various cities of neighbouring India for employment opportunities," he shared.     

The project process has moved ahead. For it, the government has allocated Rs 1 billion for the current fiscal year, 2022/23. Cutting down trees is underway. Under the project spanning around 280 bigha lands at the Mayapuri and Gaurishankar community forests, a customs office, a bank, godowns, buildings for security agencies and a railway platform would be constructed.     

Local Gajiram Mahar is hopeful that the project would create job employment for local people. "We are assured that the project will be executed. It also reduces risks of wild animals being strayed into the villages from Indian forests," he shared.     

Former Minister Ramesh Lekhak, who was elected the House of Representatives (HoR) member from Kanchanpur constituency no. 3, claimed that the foundation stone for the project would be laid within this year.     

The project has been shifted to the Mayapuri and Gaurishankar community forests from Kanjabhoj after local people protested. The inhabitants of the proposed area have been demanding their 'decent' rehabilitation. "We are in favour of the project but we want compensation," said a local resident, Karan Bahadur Chand. Around 15 families have resided in public lands around the community forest. "We are just worried about our rehabilitation," he said.     

Executive Director of the Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board, Ashish Gajurel said a report has been submitted to the Ministry of Forest and Environment after carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment to execute the project. (RSS)   

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