SOLUKHUMBU, July 20: Khumbu trekking route in Solukhumbu district that had remained obstructed for the past 10 days has now re-opened after locals cleared debris piled up as a result of landslides.
Massive landslides triggered by incessant rainfall in Surke of Chaurikharka VDC-4 had blocked the route. Locals took it upon themselves after concerned authorities did nothing to reopen the route even 10 days after its closure.
“Landslides in the route have severely affected movement of people and goods. Even cattle that are used as means for transporting goods could not travel,” said Bijaya Tamang, a local of Lukla. “The route is of utmost importance from tourism perspective. Its obstruction had made life miserable for people living in three upper VDCs. Hence, we jointly worked to reopen the route.”
However, the debris on the route has not been completely cleared. Some of it has been removed, paving the way for mules and other cattle to travel despite some risks. “As this place has a difficult topography, it'll take some time to remove all the rubbles,” said Namgyal Sherpa, chairman of Chaurikharka-based Community Police Service Center.
Since July 7, landslides have already buried five houses in Surke and posed serious risks to entire settlements. “Landslides are occurring from all sides,” said Indra Kumar Shrestha, another local.
Those who have been left homeless by the landslides have been taking shelter in their neighbor's house. Others facing very high risks have headed to Lukla, which is about one hour walk from there, in search of safer shelter, according to locals.
The local administration has said they plan to relocate risky settlements to safer locations at the earliest as landslides fear has not subsided.
Chief District Officer (CDO) Krishna Prashad Sharma said they have sent some relief materials, including clothes, tarpaulins, and rice to landslide-hit Surkhe.
As per data provided by the District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC), a total of 12 VDCs throughout the district are at high risks of landslides.
Among them, settlements of Baku VDC are considered to be the riskiest. Along with Baku, other VDCs including Deusa, Bung, Kaku, Bhanakje, Jubu, Necha Batase, Salyan, Tingla, Sotang, Mukli, and Gudel are also at high risks.