TIKAPUR, July 23: Karnali River is likely to change its course and enter human settlements in Bardiya district. The possibility came to fore after an embankment in the eastern part of the Sattighat Bridge, which connects Tikapur of Kailali with Rajapur of Bardiya, submerged in.
Locals claimed that around 100 meter stretch of the embankment has mostly submerged into water. They further added that river will 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 its embankments than it might inundate Ghumna, Shankarapur, free-bonded labor camps, Bhimapur among others settlements.
Log 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.
Before 1983, Karnali used to flow from Bardia. But after a massive flood the river had changed its course towards 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 caving since the past two or three days. “The upper part of the embankment is mostly concrete that loosely sits over it. It could be easily swept away by strong current,” Chaudhary said. Hulaki 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 caved in. To sustain the embankment, sacks filled with sand 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.