SINDHUPALCHOWK, July 14: Six VDCs in Sindhupalchowk district have become isolated due to disruption of road links and communications caused by monsoon-triggered flooding and landslides.
The six VDCs - Gati, Marming, Ghumthang, Listi, Phulping Katti and Tatopani - are cut off from district headquarters Chautara and the capital Kathmandu due to the flooding in the Bhotekoshi followed by massive landslides. TheVDCs also have no link with Bahrabise, the market hub, adding to the woes of locals.
The 26-kilometer Bahrabise-Tatopani section of Arniko Highway has been obstructed by the flooded Bhotekoshi and landslides. In some sections, the road has been swept away completely, making it very precarious even to walk.
“We are stuck in the village. We cannot even walk around freely. This has added to our hardships,” lamented Min Bahadur Tamang of Gati VDC.
Another local, Arjun Pradhan of Marming VDC, complained that he had to risk his life to go outside the VDC for medical treatment. “The health post in my village has failed to cure my swollen left hand and I have to walk two hours to seek treatment elsewhere,” said Tamang. The journey is precarious as the roads are blocked by landslide at many points.
Road obstructions have also prevented the delivery of food items and other necessities in the affected areas. Locals are surviving on existing food stocks but these stocks are running low. All the shops at Besari, Naya Pool, Chaku, Hindi, Larcha, Das Kilo and Tatopani bazars are running out of stocks.
“Food stocks are running low already. There is no way to bring food here. The situation is set to get worse and we will soon begin to starve,” said Padam Lama of Das Kilo. It is dangerous just to walk around and impossible to carry heavy loads, said locals.
All the six VDCs are in total darkness at night as the flooding brought down dozens of electricity poles. Bhotekoshi flooding has shut down the 6.5 MW Lower Chaku Khola Hydropower Project along with two other hydropower projects in the Tatopani corridor. The authorities said transmission lines have been badly damaged.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Manoj Thapa at the Armed Police Force Tatopani Base Camp said none of the telecommunications links are working. “Ncell and other telecommunications towers at Liping Bazar have collapsed along with the houses,” he said.
Some displaced locals have taken shelter with relatives in Kathmandu while others are sheltering at Chaukidanda.