BAJHANG:  Residents of Malumela, Bajhang who were displaced from their village due to a landslide triggered by the use of bulldozers for road construction 10 months ago, reached the Division Road Office, Baitadi seeking relief yesterday.

As many as nine households were displaced by the landslip, while twenty-five other households are still living in the area.

The families reached the road office to inform it about their plight.

“We have been homeless for the last 10 months and have had to live through harsh winter and rain without a roof over our heads,” said one of the victims Kaukuri Sarki.

The landslide in Malumela had been triggered allegedly due to use of heavy vehicles for construction of Jadar-
Koiralkot road by the Division Road Office, Bajhang.

As the landslide hasn’t stopped, the remaining 25 families in the village are also on the verge of displacement.

Another victim Bishwo Prakash Joshi said they had been drinking water from the Seti River since the landslide damaged drinking water and irrigation projects in the village.

“Our family members are falling sick due to consumption of polluted water and farmlands have dried up due to lack of irrigation facility,” he lamented.

Another victim Kele Damai said the landslide had buried around 67 ropanis of farmland and around four hectares
of community forest and vegetation. “The landslide has also buried the road, which has created additional hassles,” he said.

Victims have demanded that the authorities manage temporary settlement and food for them, and provide compensation. Besides, they have also sought relocation of the households still living in the area.

Chief of the division office, Lalijan Khanal, said he was serious about the plight of Malumela residents. “I will soon inform the higher authorities about the plight of locals,” he said.

–  By Prakash Singh for THT

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