People in quake-hit Singati area limp back to normalcy

- RAJENDRA MANANDHAR, Dolakha
People in quake-hit Singati area limp back to normalcy

May 28, 2015-

Singati VDC in Dolakha, which was flattened by the May 12 quake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale, has started forging its way towards recovery.

Singati Bazaar, a commercial hub for 18 surrounding northern VDCs and populated with around 250 small and large buildings and structures, was levelled in a matter of seconds by the quake.

While the area is abuzz with rumours of yet another major quake, local entrepreneurs have started resuming their businesses while fighting off their fears. They can be seen doing their businesses in multi-coloured tarps set up at four locations.

Likewise, people can be seen taking a dip or swimming in the Singati stream to beat the heat as police and Nepal Army personnel continue to stay on high alert to provide security to people.

Local residents looked somewhat cheerful as they said their life is not as difficult as few weeks ago when the stench from dead bodies of humans and livestock had made their life unbearable.

 Even rescuers in the area said almost all the bodies buried under the debris of the collapsed buildings have been recovered. Chief District Officer Prem Lal Lamichhane, however, said that a couple of bodies still remain buried under the landslides along the 10 km Singati-Sorung stretch.

Life in Singati had started limping back to normalcy following the deployment of dozers to clear the way to Lamabagar and Sorung. As the Sorung-Bulung road section has been cleared, Lamichhane said some relief materials have started trickling in to Singati.

Meanwhile, small eateries and hotels have started operating from makeshift tents and tarpaulins while proper arrangements have been made for drinking water supply and temporary toilets at the initiation of Division Office of the District Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation. Similarly, with the deployment of health personnel with essential medicines in the area, officials claimed daily life has become much easier.   

However, as most shops in the area are yet to open, daily essentials are still in short supply. According to Mahesh Shrestha, a local trader, it was the need of the hour to bring the bazaar into operation in order to cater to the needs  of around 40,000 people from within and surrounding areas during these difficult time. Shrestha said local businessmen are also thinking of providing corrugated metal sheets to quake victims free of cost.

Efforts are under way to make the 29 kilometre Singati-Upper Tamakoshi operational. Even rescue personnel said relief and reconstruction works could be expedited if local bazaars open. Both government and the private sector are working to restore normalcy in the area until a comprehensive project to rehabilitate locals is implemented.

Published: 29-05-2015 07:37

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