Image for Representation
KATHMANDU: The people of Jhor and Sangla area to the north of Kathmandu election constituency no 6 complain that their area remains neglected even to this day as it lacks effective political leadership.
This area is one where lorries used to ply back during the Rana period (1846 -1951).
Jhor and Sangla are two places which are representative of the plight of what is called the ‘Kaanth’ area.
Kaanth areas are the rural areas on the outer rim of the Kathmandu Valley. Despite their location near the country’s federal capital, the Kaanth areas lack in many amenities.
The Jhor and Sangla locals say that they are in consultation on electing the candidates who have genuine love for the Kaanth area in the parliamentary election scheduled for this November 20. They are eagerly waiting for the voting day.
The then Rana rulers had built road up to the foot of the Shivapuri hill via Balaju for transporting grass and water from this area to downtown Kathmandu on lorries.
However, this ancient road is gone for lack of preservation. They rued that the Kaanth area still languishing in neglect even though the country has entered the republic period after experimenting with constitutional monarchy era following the overthrow of the Panchayat rule.
“It is our misfortune that the Kaanth area lags behind in terms of development and other modern facilities despite its location close to the federal capital,” they rued.
Jhor and Sangla are only 15 kilometres away to the north of Ratna Park in the centre of Kathmandu.
Although the political party leaders give assurances during electioneering before every election to improve the living standard of the people of Kaanth area through development of infrastructures, they seldom fulfilled their promises.
Now, the conscious voters in this area say they will not be taken for a ride by parties anymore. In this parliamentary election, the Kaanth voters say they plan to vote the candidate who really loves their area by rising above an individual, party or ideology.
“Only the shrewd politicians of the city get the election ticket and it’s them who get elected most often. They allocate the development budget as per their vested interest and only for the city area while neglecting the Kaanth area,” complained Sushil Adhikari, an elderly of Jhor, Tokha Municipality-1.
As Adhikari said it is the misfortune for them that so far person born and grew up in Kaanth area has not reached to the rank of party leadership and in parliament.
“It’s too much now. We’ve grown this old voting for candidates from the urban areas in so many elections, Now we are holding consultations to give our votes to the candidate who really loves the Kaanth and committed to its development,” said Adhikari.
Narayan Bahadur Khatri, a retired civil servant and a resident of Jhor, said, “The real development cannot take place in the Kaanth area until quality education and health services are available, big industries and factories are opened and wide metalled roads are constructed in this area.”
He believes that like in the previous elections, the voters in Kaanth area will take part in this historic parliamentary election capable of deciding the country’s and the peoples’ future, as well.
Another senior citizen Mohan Lamichhane also echoes Adhikari. “The leaders of the parties whom we voted and elected have become the government ministers from time to time, but they have done precious little for the development of the Kaanth area. Now we are in consultation in our localities whether to vote for the independent candidates in this parliamentary election,” Lamichhane said.
“We are planning to give our votes to the candidates who are dedicated to the development of the Kaanth area in this election,” said Shyam Krishna Kunwar, a resident of Sangla, Tarakeshwor Municipality-1.
He expressed his frustration towards the political parties and their leaders, saying they have neglected the Kaanth area although the locals have voted them to power in every election. Bishnu Maya Tamang of Sangla is not much interested in the election.
“Although there is talk about the election in the village, we have no time for that. We have to work to make ends meet. But I will go give my vote to my favourite candidate in the election on November 20, abandoning all work,” she said.
The locals of Jhor, Sangla and surrounding Kaanth areas are holding consultation among each other to give their vote to the candidate expressing commitment to repair and mend the roads and trails in the area that are in poor shape and to supplying clean drinking water.
Similarly, they are saying that they will vote for the candidates who commit to smooth and timely supply of seeds and fertilizers to farmers, to constructing agriculture and dairy products sales depots, to provide vocational training to the unemployed local youth, to set up technical and vocational schools and to set up industries and enterprises creating jobs to the locals in the Kaanth areas.
Twenty-four candidates, including former minister Bhimsen Das Pradhan, former police officer Sarbendra Khanal and Sishir Khanal are running for the HoR Member election from this constituency.
Pradhan is the common candidate of the ruling Left-Democratic Alliance, Sarbendra Khanal is the candidate of the CPN (UML) and Shishir is an independent candidate.