Incessant rains put suspension bridges over Karnali and Budhiganga river at risk

BAJURA: Continuous rainfall for the past few days have raised the risk of collapse of the suspension bridges over Budhiganga and Karnali Rivers.

Dozens of bridges over Budhiganga river including at Taprisera, Dawari, Tipada, and Rapka in Bajura; Sanfe, and Budhabagar in Achham district are at a high risk of getting damaged. Similarly, many bridges including Piluchaur-Jukot bridge over the Karnali River also face risk as water level rises in the river.

According to the locals, people have stopped crossing bridges over the two rivers after flood water reached the level of the bridges, weakening the structure.

During the monsoon season, life around Karnali River always turns dire, often displacing families living near the banks while disrupting the bridges- the only medium connecting many people with the other side. People have to put their lives at risk while traversing the bridge in the time of need, local residents claimed.

As per the statistics of the District Coordination Committee (DCC), Bajura, there are 65 suspension bridges in the district, dozens of them over a decade old. These old and worn out bridges are at the most risk of getting dilapidated owing to floods and landslides, Engineer Janga Thapa at the Bajura DCC.

Four years ago a team of experts from the centre investigated the bridges and designated a bulk of them as dangerous. However, locals claim that no action has been taken to maintain or repair the suspension bridges.

Meanwhile, District Development Committee has designated locals residing in the vicinity of the bridges responsible for maintenance and have been allocating Rs 88,200 annually for their maintenance.