National

Mahakali embankment project incomplete after five years

- MANOJ BADU, DARCHULA

May 15, 2018-

Five years into its construction, the Mahakali river embankment in Darchula is still incomplete. Officials of Mahakali River Control Project said though their plan was to complete the embankment ahead of this monsoon, they failed to achieve the target because of insufficient fund.

The project work was also delayed due to the 2015 earthquake and the border blockade imposed by the Indian government that same year. The estimated cost of building the 4.5 km embankment is Rs 3.05 billion.

Sushil Kumar Devkota, the project chief, said an additional Rs 180 million was required to see the remaining task through.“Around 70 percent of the work has been completed so far. We have requested the line ministry to release the additional budget so that we can finish the job,” he said. Meanwhile, the people living along the Mahakali riverbanks fear that their settlements will be inundated this rainy season as well. The village of Khotila in Bangabagadh is among the most flood-vulnerable areas in the district.

Local resident Man Singh Bohara said their village could remain safe from flood only if the embankment is built up to Khotila village ahead of this monsoon. “If the embankment is built till Khotila before this year’s monsoon, it will also defend Khalanga against flood,” he said.

Another major concern of the people here is the risk of landslides obstructing the river before triggering a mega-flood, like the one that occurred five years ago that swept away 56 homes and killed 12 people.Darchula is not prepared for such disaster.

Published: 15-05-2018 08:27

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