TIKAPUR, July 23: The Karnali River is likely to change its course and enter human settlements in Bardiya district. The possibility came to the fore after an embankment in the eastern part of Sattighat bridge, which connects Tikapur of Kailali with Rajapur of Bardiya, eroded.
Locals claimed that around a 100-meter stretch of the embankment has mostly been eroded by the river. They further added that the river w ill overflow into residential areas if the water level rises two feet further. Such a possibility has threatened the security of people residing near the river. Locals said that if the river breaches the embankment then it might inundate the free-bonded labor camps at Ghumna and Shankarapur as well as Bhimapur among other settlements.
Lok Bahadur Budha, a local, said that they might have to go through hell if the river changes its course. “We are praying that we won’t have to experience such a catastrophe. But it might turn into a reality if appropriate measures are not taken to mitigate the risk,” he said.
Earlier in 1983, the Karnali River used to flow through Bardiya. But after a massive flood, the river had changed its course toward Kailali. At the time, the flood had swept away hundreds of houses. Raj Kumar Chaudhary, a local of Tikapur Municipality-8, Bangaun informed that the embankment has started eroding since the past two or three days.
“The upper part of the embankment which is mostly concrete could be easily swept away by strong current,” Chaudhary said. The Postal Highway Management Office had built the embankment just three months ago, he informed.
Krishna Gautam, chief at the Area Administration Office, Rajapur said that he is completely unaware about the issue and pledged to take initiatives immediately.
“If the river changes its course, people will have to suffer a lot. We will immediately take measures to avert it,” he said.
The bridge was constructed two years ago. Last year, the embankment on the eastern side of the bridge had eroded. To sustain the embankment, sandbags were pilled on top of it. This year, another side of the embankment is gradually eroding. The construction company has deployed a technical team to inspect the embankment after being informed about its condition.