Causeway collapse affecting Chitwan folk

Chitwan, August 3:

The collapse of a causeway over the Riu river on the Madi-Bharatpur Hulaki road has hit the people living in the vicinity hard.

Floodwater smashed an under-construction culvert after causing the collapse of the causeway on Monday, sweeping away three houses and eroding over 35 bigha of arable land at Amiliya in Chitwan.

“The flood will sweep away the entire Amiliya,” a local Champa Budathoki said. The construction of the causeway had made the movement of vehicles easy, but aggravated risk of flooding in adjoining areas.

“Despite the risk, locals gave their consent to the construction of the causeway as it was a development work,” Ram Krishna Timilsina, of Banakatta, said. There are some 400 households between Simari and Dhowaha along the causeway. “The construction of the causeway is not beneficial for the locals,” Sanubabu Karki, an engineer at Chitwan District Development Committee, said.

“The causeway is probably the cause of flood in the local settlement,” Prakash Upadhayaya, an engineer at the Office of the Division of Road in Bharatpur, said. “We are in the process of building a dam to protect the villages from floods.”

Though the construction of the causeway started six years ago, work came to a halt due to lack of funds.

Ammar Construction Company and Lohani & Brothers started the construction work in 2000. An agreement was reached to construct the causeway spanning 391 metres in length and one metre high at a cost of Rs 2,14,00,000 at that time. The work resumed after an agreement was reached to raise the height to three metres and provide an additional Rs 75 lakh for the work.