Repair works of damaged embankments at final stageFloods in Bagmati and Lalbakaiya rivers had breached embankments and inundated settlements in Rautahat last year.
The residents of several settlements along the Bagmati and Lalbakaiya rivers in Rautahat district are hopeful to avert possible floods and inundation this year, as the authorities have intensified repair works of the damaged embankments.
Floods in the Bagmati and Lalbakaiya rivers had breached the embankments and inundated several settlements in Rautahat last year.
“Work is underway along the Bagmati and Lalbakaiya rivers to prevent floods from entering the settlements. The flood-damaged embankment is being repaired at 28 places along the river,” said Chief District Officer Indra Dev Yadav. He claimed that the repair works would be completed within a few days.
The repair work of the embankment is near completion at 12 different places along the Bagmati river and 16 different places along the Lalbakaiya river. The Bagmati-Lalbakaiya River Control Project Office in Parwanipur, with the initiation of the Home Ministry, has carried out the repair works.
The embankments along the flood-prone Bagmati and Lalbakaiya rivers were constructed in 1989 with the support of the Indian government.
During last year’s flood, the Bagmati and Lalbakaiya rivers had breached the embankments at 29 different places. The flooded Bagmati river inundated several settlements in Gaur and Rajadevi municipalities and Durgabhagawati Rural Municipality. Similarly, the flooded Lalbakaiya river had wreaked havoc in Ishanath Municipality and various other villages in the northern part of the district.
According to the District Natural Disaster Management Committee, several settlements in Rautahat are at high risk of floods and water-induced disasters every year.
The embankment along the Lalbakaiya river had suffered damages during last year’s flood in Tikuliya, which lies near the Nepal-India border. The embankment’s repair works were halted by the Indian side, putting nearby settlements at high risk of flooding and inundation.
“But the damaged embankment at Tikuliya has been repaired this year at the initiative of the district administration office,” said Allak Siddiki, chief at the Bagmati-Lalbakaiya River Control Project Office. “The repair work is at its final stage. The local residents are relieved now with the repair and maintenance works nearing completion.”
“We are very relieved that the embankments are being repaired before the monsoon sets in. We are hopeful that the floods in the Bagmati and Lalbakaiya rivers won’t inundate our settlements this year onwards,” said Suraj Sah, a resident of Chandiya in Rautahat.
The Bagmati-Lalbakaiya River Control Project Office started the repair works in April this year. A team of stakeholders led by CDO Yadav visited the embankment repair sites on Friday and monitored the work progress.
“Works are going in full swing, as the meteorological office has forecasted an early monsoon with more than average rainfall this year. The repair works are at its final stage. We hope that it will help protect several settlements from floods and landslides in the district,” said Yadav.
However, The Bagmati-Lalbakaiya River Control Project Office says the federal government has yet to release the funds needed to complete the repair works.