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Local level restructuring dispute: Prolonged banda in Nuwakot affects farmers, quake victims

- Krishna Thapa
The indefinite banda in Nuwakot, enforced by the people of Likhu region to protest the report of the Local Level Restructuring Commission (LLRC), continued for the 10th consecutive day on Tuesday. 
The shutdown has mainly affected the farmers and the earthquake-affected families, as transportation service in the district is at a halt. Vegetable and dairy farmers have been unable to take their produces to the market while the earthquake victims have no way of transporting construction materials to rebuild their homes.
The villages, including Khanigaun, Chaughada, Suryamati, Thansingh, Kabilas, Ganeshsthan, Narjamandap, Kharanitar, Ralukadevi, Samudratar, Shikharbesi and Betini, have been hit hard.
The banda enforcers have allowed schools in the district to operate their classes from Monday. 
The people in Likhu region began protesting after the LLRC report did not incorporate their recommendation of granting Likhu a village council status. The protest took a violent turn on Friday, when the people from Likhu descended on the streets of Bidur, the district headquarters, on Friday. At least a dozen people were injured when police intervened in a demonstration outside the office of the District Development Committee. The demonstrators also vandalised the DDC building and misbehaved with some of its staff, causing the latter to stage a protest of their own demanding security. The employees at the DDC, the VDC offices and the municipality in Nuwakot halted their works on Tuesday to protest Friday’s incident.
Meanwhile, the agitating people in Likhu region have said that they will continue their protest and the banda in the district until the government assures them that the LLRC report would be revised to accommodate their demand.
Against the recommendation of the Likhu inhabitants, the LLRC report has proposed incorporating Chaughada VDC, Thansingh VDC, Suryamati VDC, and Khanigaun VDC under separate village councils and a municipality. 
People in Belkotgadhi region have also begun a protest demanding a municipality status. The LLRC report has suggested incorporating Belkotgadhi under two village councils, namely Belkot and Kolpukhola. A delegation representing the Belkotgadhi people submitted a memorandum of their demand to the District Administration Office on Monday. 
The Belkotgadhi residents have accused the LLRC of disregarding the suggestion of its technical committee to grant the region a municipality status. 
Published: The Kathmandu Post



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