Landslides obstruct rural roads in AchhamThe construction of roads without carrying out environmental impact assessments has put several parts of the district at high risk of landslides, local residents say.
Vehicular movement along the majority of rural roads in Achham district have been disrupted due to landslides caused by monsoon rains.
Local residents claim that the construction of roads without carrying out environmental impact assessments has put several parts of the district at high risk of landslides.
“Haphazard use of dozers in rural roads has caused landslides and floods in several parts of the district. The roads are greatly damaged by floods and landslides every year, said Ekendra Saud, a resident of Bhatakatiya in Ramaroshan Rural Municipality. “We have asked the local unit to construct roads only after carrying out environmental studies. But they do not listen to us.”
Even now, dozers are being used to build roads in several parts of Achham. Most of the local units do not conduct environmental impact assessments while digging roads and hence use heavy machineries and dozers for road construction.
“None of the local units in Achham have formulated a standard rule for the use of dozers,” said an employee of Mangalsen Municipality preferring anonymity. “Some of the people's representatives have purchased dozers, which they use on road projects for their own benefit. This has risked the district to natural disasters like landslides and floods.”
According to Padam Majhi, chief administrative officer of Panchadewal Binayak Municipality, forests and water sources have also been greatly affected by the haphazard digging of roads.
“No technical guidance is followed to dig roads. This has posed a risk of landslides and floods in many settlements,” Majhi said. “The central government should make plans for sustainable road expansion works and the local units should monitor them.”
According to the office of Mangalsen Municipality, the local unit has around 72 kilometres of rural roads. But most of the roads are rendered impassable during the monsoon due to landslides and floods.
“Roadside canals have not been dug along the rural roads, which is why vehicular movement is obstructed during the rainy season,” said Khamma KC, an engineer at the municipality. He claimed that the municipality will take initiatives to construct roadside canals in all rural roads from the next fiscal year.
Nara Bahadur Kunwar, chief at the District Coordination Committee, admits that the road obstruction has caused a lot of difficulties for the local residents.
“We will tighten the use of dozers and heavy machinery in road construction projects. We are also going to formulate proper road standards for the construction of roads in the district,” said Kunwar.
The District Coordination Committee also plans to repair road networks in accordance with the road standards. “Local units will not be allowed to dig roads without conducting studies thereafter,” he said.