Continuous floods, landslides obstruct Manaslu foot trailRisk of food shortage has increased as villages remain cut off from the rest of the district for the past three weeks.
Manaslu foot trail in Gorkha district has been obstructed for the last three weeks due to floods and landslides.
Many villages have been completely cut off from the rest of the district and now there is a risk of possible food shortages in those areas.
According to the local people of Chumanubri Rural Municipality and Dharche Rural Municipality, daily essentials including food grains imported from the depot of the Food Management and Trading Company Limited in Gorkha district headquarters are stuck at Tatopani and Machha Khola areas.
Mules, the only means of transport, in the rural areas of Chumanubri and Dharche, have not been able to carry essential food items to the villages.
The rain-swollen Budhi Gandaki river has greatly affected Yarubagar and Jagatkhand areas because of bank erosion, locals say.
On Wednesday, the flooded river eroded a part of the Manaslu foot trail, which is connected to a cantilever bridge that was constructed by drilling the rocky cliff of Yarubagar in 2016.
“Around 100 metres of the foot trail has been swept away by the river. There is no trace of the foot trail around the cliff and one can’t climb up to the cantilever bridge now,” said Ganesh Karki, a local resident of Jagat.
Local residents were making efforts to repair the foot trail after it was obstructed by floods and landslides in mid-June.
“The flooded river again swept away around a 100-metre section of the foot trail in Yarubagar,” said Karki.
According to Ram Kumar Gurung, the ward chairman of Chumnubri-3, the only option now is to carve out the hillside to make a new foot trail in Yarubagar.
“The Budhi Gandaki river changes its course frequently due to siltation in the area,” said Gurung. “The food management and trading company limited distributed food grains a few days ago. But if the foot trail is not repaired, they will run out of stock very soon.”
Salt Trading Company Limited transports salt and food grains to the region before the onset of the monsoon season every year. But this year the disruption of the foot trail in mid-June delayed the transportation of essential food items.
“Salt was transported to the villages before June. But the transport of other food items was halted after the foot trail got washed away by floods,” Ram Kumar told the Post.
The concerned local governments have urged the provincial government to help repair the disrupted trail at the earliest to prevent food shortage in the region.
“The rural municipality’s disaster fund is not enough to build or repair the trail. We have requested the provincial government and other stakeholders for help,” said Santosh Gurung, chairman of Darche Rural Municipality.
Authorities are making efforts to airlift food supplies to the villages cut off by floods and landslides. The food management and trading company has started transporting rice by helicopter. It aims to airlift around 150 quintals of rice to prevent food shortage.
A total of 282 sacks of rice were transported to Sirdibas from the company’s godown in the district on Wednesday by a Nepal Army helicopter.
“The rice transported in the helicopter will be stored at the company’s depot in Philim of Chumnubri-3. Another 218 sacks of rice will be transported soon,” said Shiva Sunar, the information officer at the company.
According to the food company, around 500 quintals of rice are stuck in the Tatopani and Machhikhola areas after the foot trail link was severed.
The Philim-based depot currently has 300 quintals of rice in stock.
“The recently transported rice will be stored in the depot for the emergency situation. The rice will be sold in coordination with the rural municipality,” said Sunar.