Rautahat, July 31
After their repeated calls for action drew a blank, locals of Rautahat have now taken it upon themselves to repair flood-breached embankments in the district.
In the second week of July, floods in the local Lal Bakaiya and Bagmati rivers had burst their embankments and inundated a number of human settlements on the river fronts, causing huge destruction of life and property while displacing hundreds of others from their homes.
According to data, around 1,220 metres of the embankment on the Lal Bakaiya River at nine separate points were breached by floods, while around 1.5 km of the embankment on the Bagmati also suffered damage at different points.
People in Gaur, Dewahi Gonahi, Gadhimai and Rajdevi municipalities, among other places, suffered due to floods in the district.
“As the government seemed to be apathetic to repair the embankments on time despite our frequent requests, we didn’t have any choice other than to taking the initiative to restore the flood-breached embankments,” said a local of Baudhimai Municipality.
“It’s the responsibility of the federal government to repair the embankments, but the authorities simply shirked their responsibility by citing lack of fund, which was simply unjustified. Such acts of the government only adds pain to the victims, who have already suffered a lot,” added Yadav, who said they were receiving some help from the local bodies.
On his part, Bagmati and Lal Bakaiya River Control Office Chief Raj Kumar Shribastav clarified that his office was established just last fiscal and didn’t have enough budget to restore the embankment. “We had corresponded with the higher-up regarding repair of the embankment, but it couldn’t happen due to lack of fund,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on August 01, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.