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Koshi barrage -affected people on hunger strike

BIRATNAGAR: The people affected by the Koshi River have continued their hunger strike for 11 days today callingfor compensation.
The Koshi River erosion and inundation affected people’s struggle committee is staging a relay hunger strike at the Koshi barrage demanding fulfillment of their three-point demand, president of the struggle committee Mahidev Chaudhary said.
Chaudhary said they started the relay hunger strike demanding that they should get the compensation amunt as per the agreement reached between representatives of the Government of India and the Government of Nepal in 1954 during the time of constructing the Koshi barrage.
The affected people have claimed that the Indian authorities have provided Rs 800 million to the Government of Nepal for distribution as compensation for the 7,000 bigha land which has been verified as having been damaged by the Koshi River, but the government has not provided the compensation to them. The committee says more than 53,000 bighas of their land has been affected.
The struggle committee has called on the Indian government to provide the compensation for the remaining 46,000 bighas land that is affected by the Koshi River.
Former lawmaker Nagendra Jha said they have launched a movement demanding compensation for their land and warned of obstructing the construction works of the pilot channel being currently undertaken by the Government of India if their demands were not met.
The Koshi-affected people from Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur who have joined the relay hunger strike said they should be compensated for the damage caused to their crops, their land should be protected and the remaining compensation amount given to the affected people as stipulated in the agreement.
Former lawmaker Manpur Chaudhary said that they would be compelled to announce more protest programmes if the government turned a deaf ear to the justified demands of the Koshi River affected people.
It is said although the Government of India had agreed to provide compensation to the families who lost their agriculture land and crops after the construction of the barrage, more than 15,000 families are yet to get compensation for over 53,000 bighas of their land.

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