Rapti raging yards away, rescue a distant dream

Nepalgunj, August 2:

People of Tepari, Chhitaipurwa and Simarana villages in Holiya VDC have accused the local administration of not making efforts to save them from swollen Rapti river.

They came here today to complain of their plight.

“Our villages are only 10 metres away from the flooded Rapti and we are spending sleepless nights. Nobody has come to our rescue. Our villages are at constant risk of inundation,” Ram Khelawan Yadav, of Chhitaipurwa, said.

“We have no chance of escaping the flood as our village lies between two rivers,” another local of Chhitaipurwa Jupa Mauriya said, adding, “Either a dam should be built to save the village from flood or we should be shifted to a safer place at the earliest.”

“For fear of flood, we are staying on a dam. It is impossible to live in the village now,” Santaram Mauriya, of Simarana, said, adding, “The river has started entering our settlement and damaging our crops. We have no means of feeding our children.”

Over 350 houses in Tepari, Chhitaipurwa and Simarana are facing the risk of flooding and erosion. Coordinator of the Laxmanpur Kalkalwa Dam and Rapti River Erosion Protection Committee Ram Pelran Gupta said the villagers ought to be shifted at the earliest.

“Due to continuing erosion, the villages will be swept away by the river. The villagers should be shifted to a safe place at the earliest,” Gupta said, adding that the committee has demanded that the villagers be shifted to the Jhora area of the Hazarat Community Forest.

“Each shifted family should be provided with a kattha of land,” he said, warning, “Otherwise, the villagers along with their cattle will gherao the District Administration Office.”