Quake renders land uncultivable


Experts said it was almost impossible to cultivate lands that had developed cracks in Simkharka area of Kharpa VDC, Gorkha as the fields had started to cave in due to the April 25 earthquake and its powerful aftershocks.

They said Simkharka area and 100 metres of its surroundings were no longer suitable for cultivation due to cracks on the land. They said human settlements were in peril after the tremors.

Cracks that developed during the April 25 earthquake have begun to widen after the monsoon began making cultivation a risky proposition

A team of technicians ed by Hari Prasad Pandey, chief of district land conservation office had reached the area to conduct feasibility study.

The team carried out the study and submitted a report with suggestions saying that the land had already started to cave in and cultivation was almost impossible. Locals have been planting paddy at Simkharka.

The team concluded that the area was unfit for cultivation as more than 500 ropani land had developed major cracks. Pandey further informed that farmers should not cultivate in the area for at least one year.

“The cracks have to stop growing, but it is continuing till date,” he said, adding, “It is better not to cultivate in those fields” According to the team, the land collapsed ten feet below the human settlements while cracked lands are four feet wide. District Disaster Rescue Committee said a team of geologist have to be deployed to carry out further study.

Meanwhile, the team had made its report public mentioning that human settlements 800 metres above Simkharka were at high risk, Lamidanda-Kharpa road section had caved in three feet in two places, four water resources had gone dry and four irrigation canals were also damaged. It is said that as many as 10 households were in the danger zone as the land had started to cave in in the area. Due to the cave-in, more than 80 households at wards 8 and 9 of the VDC have been deprived of drinking water. “Electricity service and the drinking water project have also been obstructed for the same reason,” said local teacher Basanta Raj Pokhrel.