Due to the reluctance to send enumerators, households in Kalapani and Lipulekh – the newly added areas in Nepal’s map – were not counted in the first phase of the National Population Census, 2021.
The District Statistics Office did not send a census supervisor to the areas stating the lack of roadways and the government’s refusal to allow enumerators to reach there through India.
Chhangruk and Tinkar villages of Byas-1, Darchula lie across the Mahakali river, and Kalapani and Lipulek lands are connected with them. No census has been conducted in the areas after 1961,” said Dhundiraj Lamichhane, director of the Central Bureau of Statistics, adding, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be taking necessary decisions while we prepare to conduct census there,” he said.
According to Darchula District Census Office Chief Padma Raj Pandey, there are two local census offices and 49 enumerators in Darchula, while one enumerator has to look after four census areas.
“There was no road for the enumerator to reach the areas that have been included in the new map of Nepal. Also, due to border insecurity, we have not assigned an enumerator to the areas,” he said.
After 20 days of enumerators visiting homes and asking questions for the census, today is the last day for the listing of houses and households for the first phase of the national census.
The questionnaire for the census includes the number of female, male and sexual minorities in the household; the type of family, number of houses and floors the families own; whether the family members have bank accounts or have taken bank loans; number of animals and birds they own, among other things.
8,500 supervisors have been deployed across the country to get the details of these questions.
According to Lamichhane, director of the department, details of 5 million households have been received so far.
“It will take a few more days for the final details to come. It is estimated that there are 7 million households in the country. About 39,000 enumerators and staff will be deployed for the main census in the second phase,” he said.
Though refugees haven’t been listed in the national census, there is a provision to include refugee businesspersons of the Kathmandu Valley.
“More than a hundred families are living and doing business in the Valley. Of them, only 70 families have given their details. Most of them ask why they should provide any details when the government has done nothing to help them,” said an enumerator deployed at Ekantakuna area of Lalitpur.
Similarly, many Tibetans have been living in Swoyambhu and Bauddha areas of Kathmandu.
“There is a mixed community of Buddhists as well as foreigners in Bouddha and Jorpati areas, but we are facing problems in getting their information,” said Prabha Baral, head of the Kathmandu District Census Office (A).