August 15, 2016 01:37 PM NPT
By: DB Buda
JUMLA, Aug 15: Karnali folks have not seen any change in their day-to-day life even after the construction of the Karnali Road. Prem Pyakurel of Dhapa VDC-1, carrying a 30-kg load on his back, says, “The small change that we have seen is that we used to carry loads along the trail of ponies in the past while these days we do along the road.”
Fear starts gripping them soon after they board a vehicle and it continues until they reach their destination. Now-a-days, it takes almost four days for passengers to reach Khalanga, the district headquarters of Jumla, from Surkhet which was a day’s travel by bus when the road was in good condition.
The road has been blocked by monsoon- triggered landslides, forcing the vehicles to ply the trail marked above the landslide debris.
“Sometimes we are forced to go hungry for days as the trucks get stuck in the debris," shares Bir Bahadur BK, a driver.
The delay in the construction of bridges at some places along the Karnali Road by contractor has added further woes to the plight of Karnali folks.
Over a dozen landslides have struck the Kalikot-Nagma road section, Kallagad of Jubitha VDC-9, being the most precarious. No vehicle has moved beyond this point for days.
Passengers travelling in complete fear prey for their life until they reach their destination.
The blacktop applied two years ago has come off and the road has developed several potholes.
Min Bahadur Thapa, Chairman of Karnali Transport Entrepreneurs Association, Jumla District Chapter, sarcastically criticized the government, saying that the Karnali Road is not a boon for Karnali people. Rather, it has proved to be a deathtrap for them.