Swollen Koshi strands hundreds

Gaighat, August 29:

Hundreds of people heading through Rampur Chatara to the east have been stranded at Mainamaini for two days. The situation arose as boats could not navigate the swollen Saptakoshi river. Boatmen stopped the service as incessant rainfall triggered fresh floods in the river. The people were heading to Dharan, Biratnagar, Itahari and Jhapa. They had to return to Mainamaini from the Koshi river bank for shelter.

The boatmen said they would operate boats only after the water level recedes to normal. The Rampur area police office said water level may not come down anytime soon as it has been raining incessantly.

Travellers heading for Kathmandu have also been stuck in Chatara of Sunsari as they could not cross Saptakoshi. After collapse of Koshi dam spurs and disruption in vehicular movement in the East-West Highway, the Chatara-Gaighat road is being used as an alternative road.

Reconstruction work stopped

Itahari: Reconstruction of two damaged spurs came to a halt on Friday as water level in the Saptakoshi river began rising due to incessant rainfall.

Work to repair spurs number 11 and 12 of the Saptakoshi embankment was initiated on Thursday. These two spurs posed further threat to be collapsed after the works were stopped.

Chief District Officer of Sunsari Durga Bhandari said repair work was halted due to heavy downpour. According to experts, more than half of Sunsari would be submerged if the two spurs collapsed. CDO Bhandari said the incessant rainfall affected relief operation.

Meanwhile, Chief of Army Staff Rukmangat Katuwal made an aerial inspection of the eroding spurs and inundated area on Friday, a source at the Nepal Army’s eastern regional divisional headquarters said.

The flooded river has submerged parts of five VDCs of Sunsari district, forcing 200 civilians to leave their homes. The people of Jalpapur, Narsingh, Ghuski, Basantapur and Bhutaha have been displaced, said a local, Bipin Yadav. According to him, two bridges linking Harinagara with Bhutaha and Jalpapur with Bhutaha were swept away. — HNS