Locals fearful as Khalanga remains at risk of floodingKhalanga, the district headquarters of Darchula, is still at high risk of flooding.
Locals living nearby the river bank are staying in constant fear of floods. Local Gagan Singh Bista said the construction of embankments should gather momentum to conserve riverbank areas.
“The contractor as well as the authorities should intensify the construction process immediately,” said Bista.
The construction of embankment has already been completed in the Indian side. “We have spent the last two years in constant fear of floods,” said Hakar Singh Kunwar of Aapi-12, adding that the authorities should not lay the foundation for the embankment during the monsoon season as it will just weaken the structure.
Chief of Flood Control Project, Mahendra Prasad Badu, said they spent one whole year just formulating plans to construct the embankment, adding that the main culprit was the contractor who did not start construction work on the embankment on time. Furthermore, construction work has also been delayed due to some provisions in the public procurement act along with problems in the tender process.
“We have been worried by the existing situation,” said Badu, adding that though they have plans to complete 35 percent of the construction work during the current fiscal year, contractors are not doing their work on time.
“There’s serious threat of floods during monsoon season. We have also directed the contractors to intensify the construction work while remaining alert over possible flooding,” Badu said.
Meanwhile, contractors said that construction work on the embankment has not gained momentum due to increased water level in the river.
Contractor Bhim Bahadur Pal said the water level suddenly rises from morning till noon. “That’s why we have been compelled to begin work only in the afternoon after losing precious daylight hours. This has caused serious delays,” Pal said.
Flash floods in the Mahakali river has swept away 148 houses and displaced more than 500 people in the district in the past two years. Properties worth millions of rupees have also been damaged in the annual flooding in the district.
Locals stage protest demanding construction of embankment
Locals of Phattepur in Banke district staged demonstration in front of the District Administration Office on Thursday demanding immediate construction of embankment on the Rapti river. Vehicular movement was also obstructed following the protest in the district. Locals complain that the authorities concerned have showed no urgency in building embankment in the river despite serious threat of flooding. Aasharam Chaudhary of Phattepur-9 said their entire village could be swept away in an event of a major flood in the river. “We are staying in constant fear of floods,” he said. Locals have time and again been requesting the DAO to construct an embankment in the river. Chief District Officer Bed Prakash Adhikari assured that the demands of the locals would be addressed son.