BIRGUNJ/NEPALGUNJ July 3: Locals of Birgunj were long awaiting for the monsoon to get rid of the unbearable summer heat. However, the first rains of the season didn't turn out to be as pleasant as expected. The torrential rainfall of Sunday has completely inundated Birgunj.
Lack of proper management of rainwater has submerged major market areas of Birgunj including Ranighat, Shreepur, Panityanki, Nagwa, Bhisuwa, Ramgadhwa, Birta, Chapkaiya and Adarshanagar. The government had sanctioned Rs 2 billion for the 'Integrated Medium-sized Urban Improvement Project' to manage the flow of water and sewages. Locals had expected of breathing a sigh of relief after its completion but unfortunately, their woes remained as it is.
Inundation of houses, shops and godowns have damaged food and properties worth millions across the country. The piles of garbage collected in various sections of the road are now spreading across the city through water. It became real challenge for the students on Monday to get to school by crossing waterlogged roads.
Similarly, the main road sections of Nepalgunj have been flooded too. Places like New Road, Sahid Setu BK Chowk, Gharbari tole among others have been heavily inundated. Krishna Prasad Shrestha, central member of Birgung Chamber of Commerce and Industry informed that around 45 shops in New Road have been inundated.
"There is no proper way to let out the water due to which we have not been able to get rid of the inundation," said Shrestha.
Ramesh Kumar KC, chief district officer of Banke, informed that the construction of infrastructures to avoid inundation is going in on full swing. The rising water level in the Rapti River has threatened lives of people. The local administration has directed the security personnel to stay alert for rescue as rising water level in Rapti threatens nearby settlements.
Meanwhile, a large number of settlements in Banke too have been submerged by the rainfall of Sunday. This didn't just affect the vehicular movement along Nepalgunj-Gulariya road section but hugely affected the normal lives of the people.
Unmanaged settlements and random encroachment of rivers have resulted in increasing level of water in the seasonal rivers of Damak. Rivers like Kankai, Biring, Ratuwa, Kamal Baniyani, Mechi among others have been swollen due to incessant rainfall. Especially, the settlements nearby the rivers are in high risk of inundation. In fact, eight out of the total 15 local units of Jhapa are directly affected by the flood, according to Red Cross Society, Jhapa.
Likewise, there are several other districts such as Biratnagar, Ilam, Chitwan, Mahottari, Surkhet, among others which have been equally affected by the rainfall.