Road projects increasing landslip risk in Bajura

BAJURA, July 13

Haphazard road construction and use of heavy machinery for the same have put human settlements and national forest areas at high risk of landslides in the villages of Bajura.

According to Local Development Officer Yubraj Poudel, 23 village roads are under construction in the district. “Dozers are being used in a haphazard manner without consulting technicians,” he said.

He added that human settlements were at risk due to rampant deforestation. “The local consumer committee ought to make people aware of possible disaster due to uncontrolled deforestation in the name of road construction,” said Poudel. He urged all contractors to take suggestions from technicians before starting construction work. Stakeholders said more than a dozen human settlements were at risk due to the road projects.

Local teacher Tula Thapa said use of heavy equipment for road construction had led to more destruction than construction. “The haphazard use of excavators along Taprisera-Brahmatola road section will cause risk of landslides in many villages,” said Thapa.

Devi Prasad Pandey, engineer at District Technical Office, informed that 18 of 23 road projects were using dozers. “Most of them have not consulted technicians regarding the risk to human settlements,” he said, adding that none of the projects had carried out preliminary environment impact assessment.

The Environment Protection Act, 1997 and Environment Protection Rule, 1998 makes it mandatory for developmental projects to carry out environment impact assessment before beginning construction work.