Koshi embankment work hits snag

ITAHARI: Nepali contractors engaged in the reconstruction of the Koshi River embankment damaged in the floods last year said they would be compelled to stop the construction work if they were not provided adequate security. Contractors claimed that unidentified gangs had been threatening them seeking donations over mobile phones.

They told this correspondent that robberies and thefts in the area had increased.

The Maoists have threatened to stop all construction work in the area if security was not beefed up at the earliest.

Contractor Bishnu Urawa expressed concern about the increasing criminal activities in the area. “When I refused to provide donation, an unidentified gang robbed 35,000 from me and took away my motorcycle,” said Urawa. The gang had also thrashed Urawa before looting him. The frightened contractors have demanded tightening of security in the area.

Another contractor, Rambilas Raya, complained of harassment by an unidentified gang. He said they had been demanding Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakhs, threatening to kill him if he did not pay up.

DSP at District Police Office Sunsari Rajendra Dhakal admitted that criminal activities around the construction site had gone up. He added that they tightened security in the area after several complaints from the contractors. He alleged that the contractors were involved in looting and abduction.