Landslips, floods threaten Kaski settlements

Pokhara, July 4

With the onset of the monsoon, the threat of natural disasters, including massive floods and landslides, loom large over various settlements in Kaski.

District Land Conservation Office Kaski Sub-engineer Shiva Shankar Shah said the urban areas of Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan city are facing disasters such as floods, landslips and cave-in problems; while the rural areas are prone to massive landslides.

“All those living along the river banks, downstream and rural locations have to implement evacuation measures due to swelling rivers and the fragility of land in the monsoon,” said Sub-engineer Shah.

According to the District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee Kaski Chairperson Tara Nath Adhikari, the metropolitan city and other various organisations were launching various awareness raising programmes to minimise risks. He also said that rescue teams and logistics were on standby in case disaster occurred.

The representatives of municipalities, rural municipalities, various youth clubs, mothers’ groups, security agencies, district sub-chapters of the Red Cross were urged to be alert in risk-prone settlements, said Adhikari.

Around a dozen persons lose their lives, while hundreds of others are displaced due to floods and landslides in Pokhara every year.

According to the office, Gorje, Shaimarang, Keurani, Taprang of Madi Rural Municipality, the lower parts of Sikle, Chitepani and Kagredanda are prone to floods and landslides. Similarly, Sardikhola, Lachowk, Ghachowk and some parts of Lyanghale in Machhapuchhre Rural Municipality are at high risk of natural disaster; while some part of Ghandruk, Dangsingh, Bhadaure, Ghatichhina, Salyan, Lumle and Paudure of Dhikurpokhari are also at high risk.

Some parts of Rupakot, Deurali, Thumki, Hanshapur and Siddha at Rupa Rural Municipality also are said to be at high risk during the monsoon.

Settlements around the Seti River, including Laltin Bazaar of Simpani, settlement around Yamdipul, Gaighat, Ramghat, Chhorepatan, Khahare and Seti Bagar of Lakeside; Pame of Chapakot, KI Singh Pul, Mahendrapul, Rato Pahiro, Nirmal Pokhari, Kristi, Majhthana, Kahu, Bijaypur, Armala, Hemja, Sarangkot and some parts of Kaskikot also are said to be at risk.

According to the office, the settlements at Chhorepatan, Shishiwa, Pardi, Firkekhola, adjoining area of Begnastal, Kamalpokhari, Kharane, among others, get inundated during the monsoon.

According to geologist Krishna KC, the geographical structure of Kaski is very vulnerable. “Many of the settlements around the rivers are prone to floods and they can be swept away.”

According to him, the land in Kaski contains lime, which dissolves in rainwater during monsoon and that makes the land cave in gradually. The land cracks and caves in due to heavy rain.

Geologist KC said the authority should ban settlements on the banks and adjoining areas of rivers. “The prospective residents must know how safe they are in those areas before they construct houses,” said KC.

At least three persons lost their lives due to the floods and landslips caused by incessant rainfall in the past three days in Kaski.

Nepal Red Cross Society Kaski representative Bam Dev Dhungana said some plan will be devised to evacuate Kaski residents, who have long been suffering due to floods and landslides.