Cases of landslide increasing in western hills

Dhangadi, July 16

Road construction is a welcome move but anything of that sort done without proper study could be detrimental as seen in the hilly region of Province 7, where haphazardly constructed roads have caused landslides and put life in peril.

In Darchula, there are increased cases of landslides these days, apparently caused by construction of roads without carrying out impact assessment. “I don’t understand why we’re constructing roads which put people’s life at risk rather than making it easier,” wondered Chief District Officer Khomakanta Acharya, calling for an end to the tendency of haphazard construction of roads done in the name of development.

It is important to note that just a week ago, a settlement in Naugadh Rural Municipality in Darchula was buried under landslide debris.

Keshav Joshi, a local,  said there were cases where human settlements needed to be shifted elsewhere for the sake of safety. “There are landslides even after minor rainfall, which has worried the locals, who have to move to a safe place when its starts raining,” he said.

Bajura Chief District Officer Chetraj Baral also expressed concern about the haphazardly constructed roads, saying roads are frequently getting obstructed due to landslides activated by the unscientific construction of roads.

In Bajhang, on the other hand, nine persons lost their lives due to floods and landslides in one month since mid-May, where too road construction done without proper study has caused landslides, said Chief District Officer Premsingh Kunwar.

Similar is the condition in Doti, where local Raghuraja Bam of Barchhain took an exception to the use of heavy equipment to construct roads. “Use of heavy equipment to open the passage for road leaves the hills shaken and loose, which increases chances of landslides,” he said, while another local Dipak Bogati of Kapalleki lamented the construction work going on at the whim of dozer operators. “Though constructing roads is good, it’s happening randomly,” he said.

According to technicians, landslides will continue happening unless landslide prevention measures are adopted.