Plan to control soil erosion sought

Siraha, September 6:

Speakers at a programme today called for a long-term plan to control soil erosion in the Chure and Tarai regions.

The call comes at a time when rivers have been washing away hundreds of hectares of fertile land.

The rate of river-triggered erosion is higher in Tarai and Chure regions compared to hilly districts, said Lal Bahadur Kurmi, an expert on erosion control.

He said saplings of bamboo, Khayar, Sissoo and Simal should be planted to control erosion in Chure and Tarai, adding that District Development Committees, the Office of Water-Induced Disaster Control and the District Forest Offices should work in tandem to control erosion.

“Soil erosion can be controlled to a great extent by creating greenbelts along river banks in Tarai and building gabion walls,” Kurmi said.

The District Soil Erosion Office releases Rs 20 lakh every year to control erosion, which is simply not enough.

“With this much budget, we can only take short-term measures to control erosion,” said Prem Narayan Jha, an officer at the Siraha District Soil Conservation Office, urging the government to form a long-term strategy to control erosion.