Absence of bridges makes life difficult for Karnali folkSeveral remote villages are cut off from other parts of the province during the monsoon, local residents say.
The 118 km Jajarkot-Dolpa road is a lifeline for the people of Dolpa, Jajarkot and Rukum (West) districts but the lack of bridges over the numerous rivers and streams that cut through the road section has made travel difficult and risky.
There are only two motorable bridges along the road section, local people say. In the absence of bridges, local residents are unable to cross the Thulibheri river and other streams during the monsoon.
“Our movement becomes restricted during the monsoon season. The Thulibheri river is dangerous and can’t be crossed on foot,” Lanka Malla, a resident of Aathbiskot in Rukum (West), told the Post.
The water level in several streams in Chaukhebazaar and Tatarigad rises during the monsoon, cutting off connectivity for the local people of Rukum (West).
In Dolpa, residents have to walk for days to reach Khadang, the entry point connecting Dolpa with other districts, in the absence of motorable bridges.
“Even though there are road networks reaching our villages from Khadang, the road lacks bridges so we have to make our journey on foot. We carry loads on our backs and risk our lives to cross streams and rivers to get to home,” said Dilli Bahadur Rokaya, a resident of Tripura Sundari Municipality in Dolpa.
According to him, people travelling to Dolpa from Nepalgunj and Surkhet have to face a lot of difficulties in the absence of bridges.
There’s no bridge over the Ridi stream in Aathbiskot, over Bagara and Chhotebagar streams in Jajarkot, and over several streams in Khadang, Dolpa.
The construction work of bridges in Khadang of Dolpa and Chhalgad and Rupagad areas has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Division Road Office in Chaurjahari.
“The construction work of bridges in Khadang, Chhalgad and Rupagad will be completed in the current fiscal year,” said Netra Paudel, acting chief at the Division Road Office.
Until the construction of the bridges is complete, the local people of all three districts have to risk their lives during the monsoon while crossing rain-swollen rivers and streams on foot.
“There’s no bridge to link Tallu of Jajarkot and Gotamekot of Rukum (West). The lack of bridges over Thulibheri and other streams along the Jajarkot-Dolpa road has made our lives very difficult,” said Dhan Bahadur BK, a local man of Gotamekot in Rukum (West).