DHANGADI, JULY 20
As many as 1,671 families were displaced and five people lost their lives due to floods in Bhajani Municipality of Kailali last year. The disaster also destroyed seasonal crops. However, the government has done precious little to prevent similar situation from happening thie year.
Sudurpaschim Chief Minister Trilochan Bhatta, Minister of Economic Affairs and Planning Prakash Bahadur Shah, and Land Management, Agriculture, and Cooperative Minister Binita Chaudhary had reached the site after the flood damaged human settlements and fertile land last year. Inspecting the flood-affected areas, CM Bhatta had said that an embankment should be built in Bhajani area, residential buildings had to be built on high land, and the postal highway promoted. The team had returned from the site saying that the citizens would be rid of the problems as works on the same would start soon. But locals say the authorities have forgotten the promises they had made to the victims and this year too, people are having to face the same problem.
Ganga Chaudhary, a local of Bhajani said that the monitoring team would come only after the flood destroyed everything to collect details of the loss. "They forget everything once the monsoon is over and people here have to live in fear of being swept away every year with the beginning of the monsoon," she added.
Another local, Khadak Budha of the municipality said that the locals at Lalbojhi and Kusumghat were at high risk of flood and erosion.
Sattu Chaudhary, Dil Bahadur Chaudhary, Bandhu Ram Chaudhary and Aasha Ram Chaudhary at Lalbojhi were displaced after the flooded river swept away their houses last year. The CM had reached the site and expressed commitment to release budget for construction of an embankment.
"But the CM has not released any budget even after a year," he said.
Ward 3 Chairman Bikram Chaudhary said that the provincial government did not pay attention to address the problems of Bhajani people.
He added that Durga Secondary School, BOP Kusumghat and 25 houses were at high risk of river encroachment.
The flood victims have to spend sleepless night once the monsoon begins.
Internal Affairs and Law Minister Purna Joshi said that her ministry had been coordinating with the local levels and administration, among other bodies, to minimise the risk.
A version of this article appears in the print on July 21 2021, of The Himalayan Times.