ITAHARI, Oct 11: Narayan Mahat, 59, wakes up at 3 am every morning. Gets ready in half an hour, packs up the vegetable stock readied before sleeping and rushes to the market to sell it off. He has been doing this for years.
“There is no transportation service. I have to walk for over two hours to the market. Had here been road, I could have easier life,” said Mahat. “However, we love the job. It is our livelihood,” added the local of Morang, Kerabari.
According to him, a lot of people from his village have gone abroad in search of work. “People are going abroad. That brings a lot of complexities in life. Better if they tried to work here itself,” he stated.
Takure hill, which is in his village, is quite famous for its beauty, too. Due to both the fertile land and the natural beauty of the place, the land price has skyrocketed of late. “There there is no proper road to the villages, and yet the land rate has gone up,” he informed.
Takure hill is actually already a tourist spot. From the hill, captivating panoramic view of the other side can be witnessed. In addition, the place is also attractive due to good climate and weather.
Locals, most of whom are into vegetable farming, said that the hill might be one of the prime reasons for the possibility of road for them in the near future. Due to this bright prospect, more and more people are seeking land around the hill, they say.
Sushil Regmi of Itahari is one of the consumers who recently bought land near the hill. He purchased 25 ropanis of land and is very glad about it.
“This is an underdeveloped area. But you can sense that it will have a very high commercial value in the near future,” he assessed. “I did not have any land in the hills. It is my luck and pleasure that I got land here and I bought 25 ropanis,” he added.
During long vacations, he does not have to search for a five-star hotel to enjoy his holidays. Rather, he could make a cottage here and come and stay for days, he said.
“I do come here with my family. But I am thinking of making a better residence here so that my people can have the best moments here,” Regmi stated.
People from several areas and a few Marwaris have bought land in Kerabari, which is dominated basically by Magar and Rai communities. According to Mahat, the population of Brahmins and Chhetris in the settlement is low. However, the occupation of the people is the same, he noted.
“There is a mixed community though Brahmins and Chhetris are few in number. But, if you ask about the occupation, it is farming. Everyone is doing vegetable farming and that is quite rewarding as well,” he said.
Mahat informed that all seasonal vegetables are produced by the farmers. If only there had been transportation facility, the locals could grow vegetable farming by leap and bounds, he said. “During winter, it is still better as mini tata trucks somehow reach the village. But in rainy days, even those rough tracks turn useless,” Mahat lamented.
The villagers hope that the government would construct road that would easily connect them to Dharan's market. It is only a matter of around 24 kilometers, after all.
“If the road is in place, it will be very much beneficial for all. Our generation of people can do physical work a lot. We do not complain. But the young people seek better facilities,” Mahat remarked.
His neighbor Fulmaya Magar, 36, agrees. Even though she makes enough income by vegetable farming, she believes that better road conditions would bring dramatic changes for the people like her. “I not only plant vegetables but also several kinds of fruits. This land is very fertile and equally beautiful. But we got to have roads,” she said.
Meanwhile, a local teacher Tek Bahadur Karki stated that the village could turn into the 'center of vegetable farming' if few things were improved. “By turning it into the center of vegetable farming, we could stop a lot of youths from going abroad. But the first condition is to make roads here,” Karki said. He added that Kerabari Municipality has been given pressure for it. “They are doing it. But we must keep vigil and put pressure to get the task done,” he added.