Holiya, June 24:

Some 1,000 households of two villages and some 600 school-children at Holiya VDC in Banke district are facing the risk of displacement due to bank erosion by Rapti river.

Rising water level has threatened erosion and flooding in Pipraha and Teperi villages and a local Janta Primary School in Holiya VDC, locals said. The river is flowing just 10 metres away from the school these days.

“As the river is flowing near our village, we may be swept away by the river at any time,” Aharam Maurya, a local of Tepari said.

“We are living on the banks of the river and we do not know when it will sweep us,” he said, adding: “Nobody has shown any concern.”

“The Janata Primary School is also facing flood threat,,” Sitaram Yadav, headmaster of the school said adding: “The school will be swept away by the river by mid-July if the erosion continues.”

“For years we have been closing school as soon as we feel that there could be flooding. Earlier, we used to fear inundation but this year we feel that the school itself might be swept away by the flooding Rapti,” he said The river had displaced 144 households in Simrahna, Chhitaipurwa and Raghunathpur last year. “The Rapti river is eroding 1.5 metres of her banks everyday,” engineer at Nepalgunj-based Water Induced Disaster Control Division Office, Sanjay Kumar Karna, said.

“The river may also damage the recently constructed dam,” he said adding that the office has been engaged in forming community level organisations to tackle the problem. “Efforts are on to control the river by placing stones to block the river from eroding its banks,” Banke CDO, Narendra Raj Sharma said.