Traffic police personnel inspecting two jeeps hit by a landslide at Siddhababa in Palpa along the Siddhartha Highway on Friday. The driver of a jeep died in the incident. Photo: Mukti Neupane/Republica
Driver killed after landslide hits moving jeep in Palpa
ROLPA, Sept 14: Six persons including four from a family died after a landslide triggered by monsoon rains buried a house at Cherlabang village of Thabang Rural Municipality of Rolpa on Thursday night.
All six people were buried under the landslide debris. The deceased have been identified as Shiva Kumari Budha, 28, and her four year-old son, Asal. Shiva Kumari’s husband is said to be working abroad as manual laborer.
The other deceased are 38-year-old Jaya Budha, his wife Muljyoti Budha, 36, and their two daughters—Bewasti and Karishma aged nine and two years respectively.
The deceased were asleep when a section of the road of Ghartigaun-Thawang fell onto the houses and swept them away.
Chitra Bahadur Gurung, the chief of Rolpa District Police Office, said two rescuers deployed from the police office were quick to retrieve the dead bodies from the debris whereas locals gathered in the landslide-hit areas from Mirul, Kurel and Thawang had pulled the remaining four bodies later in the afternoon on their own.
Jaya Budha’s family had come to sleep in the house after feeling insecure to live in their own house. Unfortunately, all six people were buried in the landslide.
Under Sahidmarg Road Project, local authorities had constructed the road a few years ago. Locals claimed that the shoddy construction by the road contractor and the government, which failed to oversee the work, were responsible for the deaths.
Chief District Officer Laxman Dhakal said doctors have been sent to the landslide-hit village to conduct autopsies as it is difficult to transport the bodies to the hospital due to geographical difficulties. “We will provide compensation as well as other necessary support to the victims,” said CDO Dhakal.
Landslides are common in the mountain districts like Rolpa. Unplanned road construction and haphazard use of earth movers, unregulated settlements and unchecked deforestation have contributed to the increasing cases of landslides in recent years. A few days ago, two people had died in two separate landslides in Sunchhahari and Triveni in the district.
Thursday night’s landslide has cut off the transport link between Thabang and Libang, the district headquarters and other parts of the district.
Meanwhile, in Palpa, a driver died when a moving jeep was hit by a landslide at Siddhababa of Palpa-Butwal road section along the Siddhartha Highway on Friday.
The deceased has been identified as Kamal Pariyar of Chhapchaur of Kaligandaki Rural Municipality of Gulmi district. The jeep was en route to Bareng in Baglung from Butwal.
Another Scorpio jeep was also hit by the landslide, but all the passengers managed to flee to safety, according to police.