Devotees and locals are concerned about health risks as the carcasses of thousands of buffaloes sacrificed to Gadhimai on Friday are rotting on the temple premises.
Obstruction by some Dalit communities, who claim the carcasses as prasad, in the contractor’s job of collecting and transporting the remains are blamed for the situation.
The contractor has agreed to pay the fair management committee Rs 16 million for the meat, hide and bones it will be trading after clearing the mess. Ram Lakhan Chamar, a tribe leader, said the committee should have consulted with the Dalits before reaching the deal. Prem Prasad Sah, vice-chair of the post-sacrifice management committee, said the slaughter ground would be cleared by Sunday. The fair management committee has been criticised for its “failure” to manage the event properly in terms of traffic, accommodation and sanitation.
The Birgunj-Kalaiya and Kalaiya-Gadhimai road stretches are so clogged that some devotees said it took them a whole day to reach the fair.
While the local branches of Nepal Red Cross Society and Nepal Drinking Water Corporation are said to have agreed to construct 400 temporary toilets, only 30 were set up. Rajesh Sah, who came all the way from Patrahatti in Bara to worship at the shrine, said there was no provision of even fire to warm up the devotees in cold nights.
Chhutu Prasad Yadav, former chairman of the District Development Committee, said it was not possible for the committee to manage the fair alone. Motilal Susawaha, secretary of the fair management committee, charged that the government was not interested in it.
Animals, birds blocked
MAHOTTARI: SSB, the Indian border security force, on Friday confiscated 142 animals and birds being taken across the border to sacrifice at the Gadhimai fair.
Image: Martyn Stewart