Jhapa District is located in Mechi Zone of the Eastern Development Region of Nepal. It borders with West Bengal (India) to the East, Morang district to the West, Illam district to the North and Bihar (India) to the South. The district has 7 municipalities (Bhadrapur, Damak, Mechinagar, Shivasatasi, Saniarjun, Kankai and Birtamode) and 37 VDCs.The total area of the district is 1,606 km2. The lowest elevation point is 58 meter which is the lowest point of Nepal and highest elevation point is 500 meter above sea level. The current population of the district is 647,492and the average population density is around 400 people per square km. The district headquarter in is connected by feeder road to the East-West Highway at Birtamod, and the district is also connected to the Hill parts of the eastern region of Nepal. This district is the gateway to India for the Eastern Development Region of Nepal.
The annual rainfall is about 2,000 mm and maximum temperature is recorded 42º C in summer and 10ºC in winter. The entire district lies in the Terai. Jhapa district is famous for different cash crops, tea, horticulture and livestock.
Figure1 Location of the district
According to the Census 2001, the total population of the district is 633,042 comprising 318,415 female (51%) and 314,627 male (49%) residing in 156,500 households. The average household size is 4.1 persons. Jhapa district has an average population density of around 394 people per square km (2009). The district population growth rate is 1.8%. In-migration is rapidly increasing day to day from rural areas to this district. Life expectancy of the people is 58 years (female 56 and male 61 – 2009). The average literacy rate is about 67% (58% female and 75% male are literate).
This district has multi ethnic composition; majorities are Brahamin, Chetri, Rajbanshi, Limbu, Rai, Tamang, Kami, Damai. In terms of religion, Hindus are 80%, Buddhist 14% and other 6%. The main language is Nepali (58%) followed by Rajbansi (13%), Limbu (5%), Santhali (4%) and Maithali (3%) and other (17%).
The district headquarter Chandragadi is connected by blacktop feeder road to the East-West Highway at Birtamod, and the district is also connected to the Hill parts of the eastern region of Nepal. This district is the gateway to India for the Eastern Development Region of Nepal. The DRCN connects all municipalities and VDCs to the SRN, but is in poor condition and requires upgrading, rehabilitation and proper maintenance.
Jhapa district has an estimated road network of 2068.5 kilometres, including two strategic roads with total length of 216.6 km, 269.45 km of district road core network and 791.72 km of village roads. Out of that 342.38 km existing black top surface, 1131.55km is existing gravel road and 594.56 km are earthen road.