Govt drags feet on spur repair

Itahari, October 18:

Though it has been more than two months since the Saptakoshi River wreaked havoc in different VDCs of Sunsari, the government authorities concerned are yet to carry out even minor reconstruction works in the affected areas.

President, Prime Minister, ministers, CA members and leaders of different political parties visited the affected areas and assured the flood-hit of immediate relief and reconstruction. However, locals complained that the assurances of the high-profile dignitaries proved nothing more than a lip service.

Only 30 per cent of the displaced people are staying in managed camps in Jhumka and Laukahi, while the remaining are compelled to stay in unmanaged temporary camps, the victims said.

"Most of the displaced staying in temporary camps are having difficulties in arranging their daily meals," Bhisma Kafle of Sunsari chapter of Nepal Red Cross Society said, adding, they were suffering from different diseases like dysentery, pneumonia, fever and skin ailments. He also said that more than six displaced died of fever and dysentery during Dashain.

The government is also not making any attempt to resume transportation on the East-West Highway, which was disrupted by the floods.

Minister for Physical Planning and Works Bijay Kumar Gachchhedar had assured to resume transport on the disrupted highway before Dashain, but nothing has been done in this regard, locals complained.

Meanwhile, the construction of a pilot canal has also not progressed as claimed by the Indian side. Only five kilometres of the canal has been constructed so far. The Nepali technicians say that nothing concrete has been done to divert the river to its usual course.

When questioned about delay in reconstruction work, Sunsari CDO Durga Bhandari said that he had conveyed the message to concerned government authorities. Nothing concrete has been done so far because of the trend of politicising even minor issues, he said.

With the disruption in transport service, locals are forced to cross the river on their own and walk for more than five kilometres to catch vehicles.