Chitwan, October 2
Shortage of skilled manpower and resources has hampered search and rescue of accident victims who go missing in the country’s rivers.
The latest incident corroborating the stark reality is the jeep plunge of September 25 in the Trishuli River.
Three persons, including former home minister Madhav Prasad Ghimire, went missing when the jeep they were riding in plunged into the Trishuli River on September 25. The jeep plunge as well as the search operation received wide publicity. An object resembling a vehicle was found in Trishuli River last Friday but it could not be fished out despite three days of frantic efforts.
SP Basant Kunwar at Chitwan District Police Office said lack of skilled manpower and resources had adversely affected the search for missing people in rivers across the country. “We do not have manpower and resources that can be effective in terms of Trishul’s depth and water flow,” SP Kunwar said.
According to Kunwar, we lack skilled people who can dive into the depths of murky waters. He suggested that the government prepare such people and resources for search and rescue operation.
Chitwan CDO Binod Prakash Singh argued that adoption of modern technology would help. “We lack modern technology to search for missing people in the rivers,” CDO Singh added.
Armed Police Force Disaster Management Training Centre Kurintar SP Ganesh Bahadur Thapa admitted that the latest incidents showed Nepal should develop manpower and technology in line with the state of rivers in Nepal.
At least 15 passengers went missing after vehicles plunged into the Trishuli River from Chitwan’s Narayangadh to Mauwakhola road section in the last two months.
Last fiscal, three persons were killed, 14 injured and two went missing after four vehicles plunged into the Trishuli River.
Similarly, four persons were killed, 10 injured and two went missing when seven vehicles plunged into the river the year before that.
In the current fiscal, as many as 33 persons were killed, 32 injured and 18 went missing when ten vehicles plunged into the Trishuli.
Traffic Inspector Rajan Bhetwal said two buses, two motorbikes, 16 trucks and mini-trucks plunged into the Trishuli River in the last three years. Inspector Bhetwal held the narrow road, multiple potholes, the pressure of vehicular flow and the myriad bends responsible for frequent road accidents along the Narayangadh-Muglin road section.