Shreelanka Tapu locals living in fear of floods

Sunsari, August 17

Locals of Shreelanka Tapu are terrified after the water level increased in the Saptakoshi River at Barahachhetra Municipality in Sunsari.

The water level in the river two days ago was recorded at 274,000 cusec, which is the highest in the last five years. The water level in the river was recorded at 170,000 cusec at the Koshi Barrage today. The area is on the border between Sunsari and Udayapur district and is  surrounded by the Koshi River.

Locals of the areas are spending sleepless nights after the flooded Koshi River started eroding land with the beginning of monsoon. Last year, the river had swept away as many as five houses after the flood entered into the area. As many as 700 households are at high risk of floods.

Vehicles reach the Shreelanka Tapu from Udayapur during winter. Locals in the area are compelled to travel on boat risking their lives to move out of the area. Bal Bahadur Rai, a local said the boat could not be operated in the river when the water level increased.

Locals have been badly hit by monsoon rains as they cannot even go to the nearest market to purchase essentials. They said Rampur Bazaar was the nearest market. Locals said they could not reach Rampur Bazar, the nearest market, due to the flooded river.

“We have to walk a distance of five kilometres to reach Rampur Bazaar,” said Sitaram Majhi. He said locals reached the bazaar putting their lives at risk during monsoon.

Buddhi Rai, another local, said patients were also facing the brunt due to the swollen river. He said locals were

compelled to travel through Udaypur to reach the municipality office even to get minor works done.

Meanwhile, Chief District Officer Prem Prakash Upreti of Sunsari said the administration could not do anything more than alerting people to possible floods. “As the village is surrounded by the river from all sides, the only thing we can do is to alert the locals when the water level in the river rises,” said the CDO.

On his part, Barah Chhetra Municipality Mayor Nilam Khanal said they were planning to permanently shift residents of the village to a safer place.

“Though we’d built a bridge at Ghatpul to link the village, the bridge is likely to be submerged after the increase in the water level.