Janakpurdham. Standing in the premises of Janaki temple in Janakpur, the birthplace of Sita, two and a half years ago, the announcements made by the powerful Prime Minister of Nepal and India and the work started are in vain.
On the occasion of Ramjan’s wedding, the people of Janakpur have questioned who to trust if the promises made by KP Oli and Narendra Modi are not fulfilled.
On 28 April 2075, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Janakpurdham. After the special pooja at the Janaki temple, Modi became very popular in the country and abroad. The people of Janakpur were also overjoyed. Modi won the hearts of the people of Janakpur by announcing financial assistance of Rs 100 crore for the development here.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli himself had come to Janakpurdham to welcome Modi. Modi and Oli also jointly inaugurated the Janakpurdham-Ayodhya bus service from the Janaki temple. But even after two and a half years, the financial assistance could not come. The bus service also stopped immediately after the inauguration.
After the inauguration, the bus sent by the federal government reached Ayodhya but after returning to Janakpurdham, the bus did not go to Ayodhya again. The federal government immediately recalled Kathmandu. Since then, no one has taken the initiative, nor has the federal government shown any interest.
Why was the assistance amount overshadowed?
The Janakpurdham sub-metropolitan municipality is making continuous efforts to bring the financial assistance announced by Modi. But the amount has not come due to lack of initiative and cooperation from the federal government.
Janakpurdham sub-metropolis has prepared DPR by spending Rs. 500,000 to get the promised amount. A proposal has already been submitted to the Indian embassy with a plan of where to spend Rs 100 crore.
According to Mayor Lal Kishor Sah, the embassy is reluctant to take the necessary process forward.
He told Nepal Press: “I have discussed many times to bring the amount announced by Modi.” Follow the required procedure. It has been several months since he was handed over to the embassy. But embassy officials have not been able to move the process forward.
The sub-metropolis has put forward projects including construction of International Ram-Sita Convention Hall from that amount. The mayor says that the amount will help in the development of Janakpurdham. He complained that the embassy and the federal government had not taken the initiative.
Meanwhile, Minister for Economic Affairs and Planning of the state government Vijay Yadav said that the money could not come due to the indifference of the federal government. He said that foreign aid should come through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Indian side has also written to get the money. But the foreign ministry has shown no interest.
Dispute without money
There is no change in the amount promised by Modi. However, disputes have already started between various bodies. Experts say that the local government has the right to receive and spend the money announced by Modi.
However, the Janaki Temple and the Greater Janakpur Development Council have also claimed that amount.
Chairman of the Council Shaligram Singh says that the Council has the right to operate the budget provided by the Government of India. But due to the negligence of the mayor, the money could not be brought.
Singh claims that the Planning Council has submitted Rs. 180 crore to the embassy through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of the federal government. He informed that the plan has been made targeting the historic 15-day Mithila Secondary Circuit.
He said, “We have planned to build dharamsalas, drinking water, toilets and restaurant houses for the pilgrims in 15 places.”
Meanwhile, Janaki Mandir’s successor Mahanta Roshan Das has also claimed the amount announced by Modi. He argued that the temple had the right to spend the money. But no plans have been made to get the money, nor has the process moved forward.
Plan to connect Janakpur-Ayodhya abandoned
After the arrival of Indian Prime Minister Modi, the federal government decided to run a bus to connect Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, and Janakpur, the birthplace of Sita, India. Modi and Oli jointly inaugurated the bus service by showing the green flag.
However, the bus service could not be operated regularly due to hasty decision and inauguration without necessary preparations.
During the inauguration of ‘Bus Service’, Modi presented himself as the ‘Chief Pilgrim’ and mentioned it in his address with great importance. But the Indian side is also silent after the bus service was stopped.
Entrepreneur Santosh Sah says that the federal government has always been an obstacle in the development here and that is why the bus service has been stopped. He said, “The federal government does not want to upgrade Janakpur Airport, nor has it been able to run trains.”
It takes about 12 hours to reach Ayodhya from Janakpurdham via Sitamarhi in India. The distance from here to Ayodhya is 544 kilometers.