Deadly roads a nightmare for passengers in Karnali

Published On: August 10, 2019 06:51 AM NPT By: DB BUDHA

JUMLA, Aug 10: Puja Bhandari of Chandannath Municipality of Jumla was very much aware of the awful condition of the road leading to Surkhet that she never wanted to travel along the route. When it was time for her to appear for the examination for a post of a civil servant, she was left with no choice than to make a perilous journey to Surkhet. Just as she anticipated, the trip turned out to be a nightmare. 

It had been around two hours since she left Khalanga when landslides occurred. Along with other passengers she too got stranded on the way for four hours. The expected time to reach Surkhet was 5 pm, but she reached there at 10 pm. 

"The landslides had disrupted communication service as well. There were no eateries around. We spent the four hours in fear," said Bhandari. 

Roads in Karnali have become a nightmare for passengers. Landslides have become so casual. 

"There were around 50 vehicles where I was stranded. You can imagine the frustration among the people," she noted. "There is no air service and you have no choice but to depend on the pathetic roads which are like death traps." 

According to Chandra Bahadur Karki, chief district officer of Kalikot, several places in Karnali including Ghattekhola, Dahikhola, Gaganekhola, Molfa Bazzar,Pili, Chaukhala, Khallagand and Taliban are prone to landslides. 

They receive small to big scale of landslides every now and then. "However, unlike in the past, we have been clearing roads immediately for convenience of the passengers," he claimed. He added that the roads used to get blocked for weeks earlier. 

Locals have demanded presence of emergency rescue teams in case of accidents. Similarly, they want dozers and excavators at different points along the Karnali Highway so that blocked roads could be cleared instantly. 

"The 236 kilometers journey from Surkhet to Jumla is extremely risky. The authority is not serious about safety measures," remarked Bhandari.

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