Landslides obstruct vehicular movement on Pokhara-Baglung road sectionPatients with serious illnesses or injuries needing immediate care have been hit hard.
Vehicular movement along the Pokhara-Baglung road of the Bhupi Sherchan Highway, which was damaged by floods and landslides on Friday, has yet to resume, leaving hundreds of people stranded. The Kushma-Patichaur stretch has sustained severe damage due to water-induced disasters.
As many as 11 landslides have blocked the road from Patichaur to Kushma, the district headquarters of Parbat, while various sections have been swept away by floods.
According to Debi Pandey, chief district officer of Parbat, people have to walk for three hours on landslide-prone roads to reach Kushma from Patichaur due to the road obstruction.
“We held talks with technicians, builders and other stakeholders about the issue. It will take at least a week before vehicular movement can be resumed,” said Pandey.
Patients with serious illnesses or injuries needing immediate care have been hit hard by the road disruption.
“There is no alternative to using helicopters to take patients to other districts for treatment. Efforts are underway to resume along the road as soon as possible,” said Pandey.
The Kushma-Patichaur road section of the Bhupi Sherchan Highway, which connects Parbat, Baglung, Myagdi and Mustang with Pokhara, is highly prone to floods and landslides. Three people, including an engineer, died in floods and landslides at Dobilla along the road section in the first week of July.
Friday’s floods and landslides have also disrupted electricity supply to Parbat, Baglung and Myagdi districts. A landslide at Odare Paradi of Parbat damaged the Modi-Kushma 33 KV transmission line, leaving the three districts without electricity.
“Electricity has been supplied to the main market places in Parbat, Baglung and Myagdi since Saturday afternoon,” said Kedar Silwal, chief at Nepal Electricity Authority Provincial Office in Pokhara. “It may take two to three days to resume electricity supply to other parts of the districts. Roads have been blocked in several places, making it difficult for us to repair the damaged transmission line.”
Similarly, on Friday morning, a landslide uprooted a tower installed between Modi Khola-1 Hydropower Project and Modi Khola Hydropower House near Kushma, the district headquarters of Parbat district.
According to Nepal Electricity Authority, electricity production at the 42 mega watt Mistri Khola, five mega watt Ghalemdi Khola of Myagdi, 11.2 mega watt Thapa Khola in Mustang and 10 mega watt Tallo Modi-1 has stopped after the tower collapsed.
Electricity supply has been cut off in Parbat since Thursday. Telephone and mobile services were unavailable throughout Friday and Saturday due to the damage in the optical fiber of Nepal Telecom in Ambote of Modi Rural Municipality, locals say.
“Technicians are working to repair the damaged fiber and cable wires. Repair works may be completed by Saturday night,” said Bikash Timilsina, an engineer of Nepal Telecom in Pokhara. “Telecommunication services are not available in Parbat due to the obstruction in the optical fiber system.”
Road connectivity in the district has also been obstructed due to multiple landslides since Friday.
Eleven people lost their lives in separate incidents of landslides in Parbat district on Friday. According to the data of the Gandaki Provincial Police Office, 18 individuals lost their lives in floods and landslides in Kaski and Parbat districts on Thursday and Friday.
On Friday, Krishna Chandra Nepali, chief minister of Gandaki Province, directed authorities to speed up relief and rescue works in the landslide-and flood-affected areas.
The provincial government has decided to provide Rs100,000 to the families of those who lost their lives or went missing in the disasters. It also decided to provide Rs15,000 for food, Rs25,000 for temporary shelter and Rs50,000 for medical treatment to the affected families.