Gulariya, Bardiya – A project with the goal of making Bardiya fully secure from inundation and erosion by the Babai river has finally picked up momentum.
Works on the construction of the embankment on 28 kilometres stretch of the river on the right side have been speeded up at the risk-prone areas in Barbardiya Gulariya area in the district.
The Babai Bhada Aurahi River Management Project is constructing the embankments with the goal of making Bardiya fully secured from inundation and floods from the Babai and Aurahi rivers within three years.
As per the project master plan the estimated cost of the project is Rs 3.92 billion, said Narayan Subedi, the Chief of the Babai Aurahi and Mankhola River Control and Management Project Office.
He said although the embankment on the left side of the Babai river is pretty good the people in the district pressed for the construction of the embankment on the right side also.
The Barbardiya Municipality mayor Durga Bahadur Tharu said that the project should ensure that the problem of river erosion and inundation is fully addressed in the Babai river area.
"Every year the river changes its course and whenever it is flooded, the river water gushes in settlements causing a lot of hardship for the people. So, there should be long-term solution of this problem," he stressed. The mayor added that they are happy with the progress of work on the construction of the embankment which is going ahead as per the master plan.
Embankment construction is in the initial phase in the Babai Bhada Aurahi. With the river control works on this stretch of the river not complete, four municipalities including Gulariya Municipality are at higher risk of floods this monsoon season.
Project office chief Subedi said they have asked for 13 billion rupees in the amended master plan of the project. He said works on the construction of the embankment on this stretch would commence from the next fiscal year. He added that they are in the process of signing several contracts for this purpose.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had carried out a survey for the Babai Rover control project 20 years back. A work plan had also been prepared for river control from Parewa Odar up to the Nepal-India border.
But the people are disappointed that the river control works have not been carried out on this stretch as per the survey. The survey had proposed construction of embankment, canalising the river, controlling flood and also providing livelihood support to the locals.
They are riled that JICA project has been transferred to another place to the east from this place due to political manoeuvring. ---