BIRGUNJ, July 26: Various localities of the Birgunj Sub-Metropolitan City in Parsa district have been inundated by floodwaters since the last few days. According to locals, damage caused by floods this year has exceeded that of the previous years.
Heavy rainfall since the past few days has caused damages to over 100 shops and warehouses. Transportation in the affected areas has come to a grinding halt. The inundation has affected mostly the Aadarshanagar area.
Locals and entrepreneurs have blamed “Secondary Town Integrated Urban Environmental Improvement Project” for the damage. They said that under the project, courses of the streams were narrowed by building walls and as a result the streams could not hold monsoon floodwaters and inundated many houses.
“Until last year, my house used to be untouched by floodwaters, but this year, it has been inundated twice,” said Bikash Agrawal, a local of Aadarshanagar, “We suffered huge losses this year,” he added.
The project, which aims to improve sewage systems in the Birgunj city is already 13 months behind schedule, but the progress is just 58 percent. The government had awarded the multi-billion-rupee project to a joint venture of a Chinese and Nepali firm.
“I lost goods worth millions of rupees after water seeped inside my godown,” said Sachin Agrawal, a local garments entrepreneur. “Authorities and contractors will do nothing to speed up the project work. They do not even have to pay compensation for our losses so they turn a blind eye to our plight,” he added.
Dozens of other entrepreneurs echoed Agrawal. They urged the authorities and contractors to complete the project at the earliest.
Project Manager Thakur Dhakal said difficult structures of city have made their work difficult.
Meanwhile, engineer Sailendra Shrestha, sub-metropolitan city's planning chief, claimed that there is nothing wrong with the project's design. “The project's design is not faulty. Hence, it has nothing to do with inundation. We cannot deploy excavators to now to ease the inundation due to the city's difficult structure,” he added.