Bara, July 30
Flood in the Lalbakaiya River has started eroding landmass putting dozens of human settlements near the river at high risk in Nijgadh Municipality, Bara.
Locals of the municipality are living in fear of being swept away as the flood might gush into the settlements at any time. The locals of Ward No 4, 8 and 9 of the municipality are said to be at high risk of being swept away.
Nijgadh Municipality Mayor Suresh Kumar Khanal said the settlements could be swept away any time if the erosion continues. “Around 5,000 families will be displaced if the flood enters the settlements,” he added. Khanal said flood in the river had already eroded huge chunks of landmass at dozens of places in these wards since the beginning of monsoon this year.
Mayor Khanal said the municipality did not have any budget to construct embankment to control the erosion. “The municipality, with the help of local entrepreneurs and businessmen, among others, is working on every possible way to control erosion,” he informed.
Deputy Mayor Lila Devi Lamichhane said the municipality was doing its best to find a temporary solution to the problem. “We have requested the provincial and the central governments to find a permanent solution to the problem,” she added.
In 2001, when the river had changed its course, it had turned a massive amount of arable land into desert and thousands of houses were inundated.
Millions of people in Bara district are affected every year due to floods in Lalbakaiya, Balganga, Dudhaura and Pasaha, among other locals rivers.
A version of this article appears in print on July 31, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.