Local units ban haphazard use of heavy equipment in infrastructural development

- HARI GAUTAM, RUKUM (WEST)

Jan 23, 2019-

Sixty-nine houses were destroyed while 207 other were damaged by natural calamities, mostly landslides, in Rukum (West) during July and August of 2018. As per the report assessed by the local administration, water-induced disasters destroyed infrastructures worth around Rs 301.5 million in the district.

However, the main cause of the landslides and floods was haphazard construction of roads. The people’s representatives said roads constructed without carrying an environment impact assessment and survey is the cause of landslides and floods that wreaked havoc in the district.

As a result, all six local units in the district have imposed a ban on the use of heavy equipments like dozer while constructing roads or any other infrastructures.

During his district visit in October, Nepal Communist Party leader Janardan Sharma urged the local units to make a policy-level decision regarding the ban on the use of dozer to prevent incidents of natural disaster and preserve the environment.

Aathabiskot Munic-ipality in its policy and budget included a ban on the use of heavy equipments in infrastructural development, while five other local units decided on the ban through council meetings.

“We have made it mandatory to carry out an environment impact assessment before opening a new track. Heavy equipments will not be allowed until we are assured that its use will not degrade the environment,” said Gorakh Bahadur KC, mayor of Aathabiskot.

The local units in the district have expressed their commitment to minimise the adverse impact of development activities on environment. They have pledged not to construct roads haphazardly.

“The unsystematic use of dozer while opening tracks has caused numerous landslides and floods in the rainy season,” said Devilal Gautam, mayor of Musikot Municipality.

“The landslides and floods, mainly caused by the disorderly use of heavy equipments, have displaced scores of people in the district. The use of dozer, especially in a steep land, makes the topography fragile,” said Chief District Officer Shambhu Prasad Regmi.

Published: 23-01-2019 08:50

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