Banke denizens forced to take risky journey

Nepalgunj, August 21:

People across the Rapti river in Banke district are forced to take risk in boats to cross the river as the construction of a bridge over it is yet to be completed.

The construction work started in 2001 and it should be completed by mid-June this year as per the contract sighed with the contractor company. However, the work of erecting pillars has not been completed yet.

A bridge is necessary for the people of nine VDCs across the Rapti river - Binauna, Baijapur, Phattepur, Gangapur, Katkuiya, Kalaphanta, Laxmanpur, Mataiya and Narainapur - for their movement to the district headquarters Nepalgunj and other places.

“If somebody falls sick, we don’t have any way to take the patient for treatment. When flood occurs, the boats also do not operate and the patients have to die,” Chhediram Chaudhari of Phattepur said.

“The bridge has become a dream now,” Parshuram Chaudhari of Phettepur VDC said.

The locals said that the government has neglected them in all sector of development. They said that the area is more remote than any hill district. There are suspension bridges everywhere in the hilly region but Banke denizens are forced to use boats.

They use bullock carts and bicycles to supply their agricultural products to the district headquarters. There is no means of vehicle and Nepali currency hardly used in some VDCs.

“Neither there is a bridge nor means of vehicle. We have to walk for hours to come home. So, sometimes, we feel as if we are not Nepalis,” said Man Bahadur BK of Binauna, who was returning home from India. The construction of the bridge will be completed within this fiscal year, acting chief of the Nepalgunj-based office of the Road Division, Krishnaraj Adhikari, said.