Locals fear being displaced by Bagmati River

Published On: July 17, 2018 01:20 AM NPT By: TANKA SHRESTHA

SARLAHI, July 17: Residents of Hajariya of Barahathawa Municipality-1 of Sarlahi district are worried about being displaced as the Bagmati River continues to increasingly erode their land.

The river has started diverting from its original course of late. It has eroded arable land at Kharsal Ghat and headed toward the village settlement against its course. It has led to an increasing fear of being displaced among the residents of Majariya Malaha and Ekadashi villages.According to Ratna Bahadur Giri, ward chairman of Barahathawa-1, the floods this monsoon have already eroded nearly 100 bighas of arable land.“The erosion has destroyed sugarcane, peas, ginger, bananas and other produces,” he said, “If the land erosion continues at this rate and we do nothing to stop it, the locals are bound to be displaced very soon.”

Giri further said that the authorities concerned have not cared to introduce any program to control the river despite repeated pleas.“We visited them many times to pressurize them for the construction of embankment and other methods to control the river. Yet, they did nothing.”

After inaction from the authorities, the residents collected Rs 3 million themselves and installed a breaker. However, a single breaker is not enough, according to Giri.The Bagmati River flows towards human settlements in the east while eroding nearly two kilometers of land. This has made many residents of Malaha very worried about being displaced.

Chief District Officer (CDO) Drona Prasad Pokharel said they have not been able to work effectively to control the river due to budget constraints.“We have requested the stakeholders and authorities concerned for budget time and again but in vein,” he said.

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