BHOJPUR, August 14
Locals of Bhojpur district are compelled to hire choppers to transport sick people, as road and air services to the district have been disrupted in the wake of monsoon.
As the local health facility is unable to treat the patients in critical condition, the relatives of patients are forced to charter helicopters at a cost of up to Rs 2.5 lakh.
The vehicles hardly reach Shyamshila VDC, as the 22 km stretch of Hile-Bhojpur-Naradmani-Thulung highway is muddy and filled with pot holes. “It is impossible to take critical patients to the health facilities via road,” said Nabin Pradhan, a local. Nepal Airlines Corporation and Tara Airlines have irregular flights to and from the district due to uncertain weather during monsoon, leaving the locals with no option but to hire helicopters to transport sick people, he added.
NAC chief in Bhojpur Narayan Puri said there were two weekly flights from the district to Biratnagar and four to Kathmandu. “But the schedule is frequently disrupted due to bad weather,” he told THT.
A local, Arjun Basnet, of Chhinamukha VDC lamented that the locals were compelled to take patients to other places for treatment due to the lack of quality health facilities and insufficient equipment in the district.
The district hospital with 50 beds is still under construction though it should have been ready by now.
The locals complained that the health facility had degraded after experts stopped coming to the remote district.
The poor, who cannot afford to hire a helicopter have been the worst-hit. The locals have urged the authority concerned to ensure regular road and air services to mitigate their woes.
A version of this article appears in print on August 15, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.