BARDIYA, June 6: With the objective of timely prevention of erosion and inundation by the Babai River, construction works of its embankment is gathering pace much to the delight of the locals.
Just four months ago, a separate office was established to control disasters caused by the Babai River and its tributaries.
The Babai River has been causing huge losses during every monsoon due to the floods and erosion it brings. Completion of the embankment is expected to significantly lessen those losses. Twenty-one contractors are in the final phase of constructing embankment of the river.
“Although the progress in construction is satisfactory, I think the embankment should be constructed in both sides of the river,” said Birendra Tharu, a local. “Lack of sustainable means to control the river has inundated and flooded the settlements time and again. While the progress seems good, I believe more measures could be taken to control the river due to the river's strength to wreak havoc.”
As per the master plan of the government, a 28-kilometer embankment is being constructed with a budget of Rs 3.92 billion, informed Narayan Subedi, chief of Babai, Aurahi and Mankhola River Control and Management Office.
Last year, floods in the Babai River had caused significant damages to many settlements of the district. Majority of households in Guleriya Municipality were affected. Official data shows that the flood claimed the lives of 34 people in the district last year alone.
Locals have been complaining lack of sustainable embankment project despite repeated inundation over the years. They are still unable to feel safe during monsoon, which is now just a few weeks away.
“During the monsoon, we are forced to stay at least three kilometers away from the river,” said Raj Kumar Chaudhary, a local of Guleriya. “It is very important to construct embankments in both the sides of the river. We have already sustained too much losses.”