First bus arrival makes Galen villagers happy

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By Arjun Kafle,Syangja, Jun1: The locals of Galem, Phedikhola Rural Municipality–4, were beyond happy on Wednesday. After all, why wouldn't they be? It was the first time ever that they saw a bus reach their quaint little village.

This would have seemed like a dream not so long ago. 

After all, there was a 2.5-kilometre cliff between Arukharka and Galem that was so steep that people would jest that not even a monkey would be able to climb it.

The locals wanted to change this. So in 2011, they began work on levelling the cliff. 

After the federal restructuring of the state and the first local elections held under the new constitution in 2017, the rural municipality took up the project and, with help from the provincial government, not only flattened the cliff but also helped connect Galem to the relatively more accessible Sarketari six kilometres away. 

As a result, residents got to see a bus roll into their village this week.

According to Phedikhola Chairman Ghanshyam Subedi, the money to level the cliff came from the budget provided by the provincial government and the regional development fund, money allocated by the rural municipality and donations from the locals. 

"We were able to collect Rs. 23.02 million of which, we spent Rs. 15.66 million to get the job done," he informed.

The cliff was levelled as part of the Sarketari-Aarukharka-Galem-Panchase rural road construction project.

The dirt track of the road was opened to vehicles in 2018 which made it possible for jeeps and small four-wheelers to travel to the village. 

"The local government recently upgraded the track which enabled the bus to reach Galem," Subedi said.

Captain Indra Bahadur Gurung, who was born in Galem but lives in Gharipatan, Pokhara, had no words to describe his joy at being able to reach his birthplace on a bus. 

"I had never imagined that I would be coming to my village on a bus; that the frightening cliff would ever be conquered," he shared with The Rising Nepal.

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