After lake burst, Dhuskun folk fear more landslips, floods

- RAJENDRA MANANDHAR, Sindhupalchok
After lake burst, Dhuskun folk fear more landslips, floods

Sep 10, 2014-

The residents of Dhuskun have been left terror-struck after land surrounding the artificial lake created by the massive landslides that struck the district last month started developing cracks owing to receding water levels. After substantial amount of water receded in the lake that has inundated Mankha, Ramche, Dhuskun, Tekanpur and areas surrounding Barahbise on Saturday, the land surrounding the lake has started eroding.

Expressing his concern over the ominous situation, local Mohan Man Shrestha of Dhuskun said that the land surface high above the lake and recently constructed roads have developed dangerous cracks from the middle.

Meanwhile, assistant lecturer at the Tribhuwan University and landslide expert Dr Ranjan Dahal said that the phenomenon could have been caused by the sudden outflow of massive amount of water. “About 4 million cusec water had flown out within six hours from the artificial lake which had been holding 6 million cusec water,” Dahal said. Stating that the development of cracks could mean further landslide, Dahal suggested that it was best to vacate the area where the cracks have developed.

Likewise, expert Prakash Shrestha who had conducted geological survey on two hydro-power projects earlier said that the risk of further landslide were imminent. A retiree from Nepal Electricity Authority, Shrestha said that if the water level had receded slowly, nothing of the sort would have happened, but with the water flowing out rapidly, it had shaken and destabilised the ground surface around it.

Shrestha said that it would be best not to challenge nature and avoid doing anything that creates vibrations on the surface such as using electrical water motors, vehicular movement, and construction works.

However, going against the suggestions of the experts, road construction has been started from both sides of the lake. While cracks have developed in blacktopped road that is within a range of one kilometre along the Araniko Highway, the tracks opened from both sides have only heightened the danger, Dahal said.

According to Dahal, the tracks opened without proper studies had already aggravated the dangers. “Although roads are imperative, it would have been best to conduct geological survey and emphasise constructing a sturdy Highway taking into account the recent mishaps,” Dahal opined.

Meanwhile, senior project officer Deepak KC of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said that concerned authorities should take pre-emptive measures and evacuate the locals to a safe location. “In the wake of present danger, it is essential that all stakeholders come up with a strategy to mitigate the danger posed by the situation and avoid human casualties,” KC said.

The landslides on Aug 2 had blocked the only transport route to Khasa, Tibet and formed the humongous lake. Meanwhile, local businessmen as well as Nepal Army have started constructing alternative route to resume transport services to Tatopani, which is one of the most important custom point facilitating trade between Nepal and China.

Published: 11-09-2014 09:06

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