POKHARA, July 2: A landslide that occurred near Matepani Gumba of Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan City on Friday has weakened the base of the monastery, making the place risky for the Lamas as well as tourists.
A tree which fell down along with the landslide hit an electricity pole leaving the locals in darkness. As informed by the locals, the landslide which occurred at around 10 pm did not cause any human casualties.
“It was raining heavily outside. Even the cattle were making noise in their sheds,” said Rishi Ram Lamichhane, a local. According to him, the landslide did not cause much damage. “If it had occurred during day time, maybe it could have resulted in human casualties,” he added. He says that the locals as well as concerned authorities need to take long term initiatives to solve this problem.
He further informed that the land of this place was weakened during the construction of road. With the onset of monsoon, such landslides are likely to occur time and again, so the locals have urged the government to find out long-term solution for it.
“The gumba, which is recognized as a tourist destination, should be a matter of concern for the government,” Lamichhanne said. This national heritage is just 150 meters away from the place where the landslide occurred. Every day, around 200 Lamas visit the monastery to learn lessons. Purna Bahadur Bhujel, secretary of the monastery's management committee, said that the landslide has threatened the security of locals as well as tourists.
“Many Lamas residing in the gumba have been spending their nights in constant fear due to the rain,” Bhujel said, adding, “It will be wise to keep a notice to warn the locals outside the gumba.” He stressed on the need of planting trees and fencing the base of the monastery.
As per the details provided by Bhujel, more than two thousand tourists visit the monastery almost every day. Few days ago, some engineers had inspected the condition of the land. “The engineers had already predicted landslide and were just planning to take some initiatives but unfortunately they were late,” said Bhujel.
Since six months ago, a road construction project was taking place just below the monastery. The Road Division Office (RDO) chief Prem Prakash Khatri informed that the construction work has already been completed. Reportedly, some workers dug up more land than necessary which led to the landslide.
“Our workers dug more land due to the demand of the locals who wanted a wider road, which loosened the soil resulting in the landslide,” he said.