Barahakshetra pilgrims forced to undergo perilous journeys

Published On: October 17, 2016 01:30 AM NPT By: Amar Khadka

ITAHARI, Oct 17: Landslides triggered by incessant rainfalls have made travelling highly unsafe in Barahakshetra of Sunsari, one of the four most sacred places for the Hindus.

Landslides have hit various road sections from Chatara to Barahakshetra and the areas are highly prone to further landslides, making the journey highly perilous. 

Likewise, heavy rainfalls have also created big potholes on the roads. As the road stretch sustains heavy traffics, failure to timely repair such potholes may lead to big road accidents, according to stakeholders.

“By the grace of God Baraha, there has not been any big accident in the road section,” said Santosh Subedi, a jeep driver who drives through the 11-kilometer Chatara-Barahakshetra stretch. “But now as the road is in highly terrible condition, chances of accidents are very high in this area. One slip of concentration and vehicles can fall into Sapta Koshi River,” he added.

Chances of accidents are also high as vehicles pass along the road section carrying passengers beyond their capacity. Many vehicles ply the road carrying passengers even in rooftops.

Although passengers are forced to risk their lives enduring highly perilous journeys, the governing authorities have kept mum and turned a blind eye to the situation.

“When can we travel safe in roads of Barahakshetra and Chatara? The government has not shown any interest in repairing the roads and we are forced to continue risking our lives every time,” said Durga Thapa, a local of Rampur Thokshila.

Ram Khada, a bus driver, said the terrible condition of the road makes the journey very difficult. “Driving continuously in the uphill and downhill roads heats the engine of the vehicles very fast, making it prone to various technical glitches. And due to lack of sufficient vehicles in the road section, the situation gets even worse,” he added.

Currently, 13 small Land Rover jeeps and five pickup vans are operating in the Chatara-Barahakshetra road stretch. Likewise, 11 jeeps and three buses are currently operational in Chatara-Rampur-Thokshila stretch, according to transport entrepreneur Lawaraj Phunl.

Thousands of pilgrims from Nepal and India visit Barahakshetra on a daily basis. They are forced to undergo risky journey full of hassles. Yet, nothing has been done to ease their troubles.

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