Tilkechaur village in Udayapur at high risk as land starts caving inFrightened villagers have urged the local government to move them to safety before the start of monsoon.
The villagers of Tilkechaur settlement in Katari Municipality Ward No 10, Udayapur, are seeking relocation to a safer place fearing landslides in the coming monsoon season, as their village has started caving in.
The land has started developing fissures and the area is gradually sinking, say local people.
“Thirteen households in the village are at high risk of landslides. The land has sunk in the area,” said Lilanath Bhattarai, the ward chairman of Katari-10.
The villagers have put in an application with the ward office requesting to be moved elsewhere, said Bhattarai.
A fissure appeared on the hill some 200 metres above the settlement in November last year and since then the landmass has been loosening and sinking, says Dil Bahadur Thapa, a local man.
“The land developed a crack some six months ago and the crack is gradually widening. The land is sinking, putting us at high risk of landslides,” said Thapa.
He also said that the villagers are having sleepless nights since the area has been experiencing pre-monsoon rains for the past couple of days. “We are all restless. We don’t sleep for the fear of being swept away by landslides,” said Thapa.
According to the ward chairman, the villagers have asked for a geological study of the area to be conducted to determine if the area is safe or not. “They have sought relocation if the study concludes the area is unsafe,” said Bhattarai.
The people’s representatives and security personnel have also visited the affected village and asked the municipal office to take the necessary action to prevent disasters.
“The settlement has started developing fissures and the landmass is caving in,” said Bhattarai. “We have asked the higher authorities to conduct a geological study of the area.”
According to Gyanendra Shrestha, the mayor of Katari Municipality, the local unit held its executive committee meeting on Tuesday after it was informed about the fissure and sinking land. He said that preparation is underway to shift the villagers to a safer place.
“The meeting decided to shift the houses that are at risk to a safer location. Search is underway to find a safer place and relocate the affected families,” said Shrestha. According to him, the municipality has written to the Department of Mines and Geology to study the topography of Tilkechaur settlement.