Residents of Bahrabise Municipality living at high landslide riskThe landslide that occurred on Wednesday night was aggravated not just by rain but by the haphazard construction of roads, locals say.
Sudden noises have been startling Krishna Nepali, a native of Karkalebari in Bahrabise Municipality, Sindhupalchok. He lies awake at night, expecting a landslide to sweep away his home.
This is because on Wednesday night, a section of the Ramche-Maneshwora road in Karkalebari was destroyed due to a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall, near Nepali’s house. Five families living below the road section are living at high risk of another landslide.
According to locals, the landslide was aggravated not just by the rain but by the overdigging of the road section. The Ramche section was being repaired by Bandhan Bhagawati Construction Company while the Maneshwora section was being repaired by the Nepal Adarsha Construction Company. “We requested the representatives of the contractor companies to not dig out the road unnecessarily, but they did not pay attention to our requests,” said Khadga Bahadur Lama, a local man.
After the road section just above his house started to cave in on Wednesday, Krishna says his family members have been compelled to spend sleepless nights. “We will certainly get buried by the landslide debris if the concerned authority doesn’t make any effort to control the landslide immediately,” said Krishna, adding that his family has nowhere else to go.
Karkalebari is the entry point of the road that extends up to Ramche, Maneshwora, Bhirkuna and Ghumthang among dozens of remote villages in Bahrabise Municipality.
After the landslide blocked the road, locals living in remote parts of Bahrabise Municipality have been compelled to walk for several hours to reach Bahrabise bazaar. Lama said people from remote areas have to travel to Bahrabise bazaar to purchase daily essentials and receive medical treatment. “It is difficult to navigate one’s way through a landslide prone area. Patients have to be taken to Bahrabise and it’s not easy to do so if there are children and elderly citizens with us,” said Lama.
Meanwhile, Nifunjo Sherpa, mayor of the Bahrabise Municipality, said that he has inspected the area following the landslide in Karkalebari. “We have advised the contractors to remove the landslide debris from the road section and start repair works soon,” said Sherpa, adding that a technical team of the municipality has been mobilised to control the landslide.
The Post tried to contact the contractors involved in repair works but they were not available for comment. Chakradhoj Tiwari, an elderly citizen in Ramche, said that the haphazard road construction has put locals at high risk. “It’s good to open roads for development, but the development works should not risk lives and the environment,” he said.
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