Haphazard road construction puts Bajura villages at landslide risk

BAJURA: Haphazard road construction has destroyed community and national forest areas of the district, while putting various villages at a high risk of landslides.

Local Development Officer (LDO) Yuvaraj Paudel said some among 23 under-construction road projects are taking toll on forest areas and human settlements in the district.

“We found that the excavators have been mobilised haphazardly without any consultation with technicians,” the official said.

More than a dozen human settlements are at a high risk of landslips in the district owing to the road projects, locals said.

Tula Thapa, a local teacher in Taprisera village, said such a use of the machine has caused more destruction than construction.

He said the Taprisera-Barhamtola road section has increased a fear of landslides in his village. “Story of the Phalasain-Kuldevmandau road section is not different,” he added.

Engineer Devi Prasad Pandey of the District Technical Office said 18 among 23 road projects have mobilised excavators for construction, but most of them have not consulted any technician regarding potential risks the projects are likely to bring to villagers.

Pandey added that no any project has conducted preliminary environmental impact assessment.

Various laws including the Environment Protection Act, 1997 and Environment Protection Rules, 1998 have made it mandatory for any development project to conduct the environment impact assessment.

The District Development Committee, however, has cited lack of sufficient budget to conduct such studies.