CHITWAN, April 19: Dry landslides on the hills along the Narayanghat-Muglin road section which is currently undergoing repair have been a great threat to vehicles as well as pedestrians.
The first day of the Nepali New Year 2074 wasn't as expected for some passengers who were troubled by dry landslide near Mugling. Vehicular movement remained obstructed the whole day. Though the debris has already been cleared, the locals and travelers are far from being reassured as another landslide may occur at any time.
According to Shiva Khanal, engineer as well as information officer for the Narayanghat-Mugling road expansion project, the workers have been trying to remove the rocks and soil which are likely to fall down. But the difficult terrain has made the use of equipment and machines challenging. Khanal said that seven workers have been deployed to clear the stones and rocks of the hills which can cause landslides. “Our workers are risking their lives to solve this problem,” said Khanal.
Currently, vehicular movement on the road section is halted for six hours a day everyday. Workers and technicians of the project climb up to 40 to 50 meters up the hills to remove rocks and soil which can cause landslides. It is expected to take five to six more days to complete the work.
Last year, the road section was hit by landslides in the rainy season but this year landslides have started before the arrival of the rainy season. According to Khanal, there have been continuous dry landslides since April 13. “Though on other days, landslides occur when the vehicular movement is halted, on Friday it started early morning,” said Khanal.
Two persons were killed and five vehicles were buried in dry landslides at Ghumaune on April 3. On Friday, a person fell 150 meters down the road after being hit by a falling stone at Char Kilo. According to District Police Office, Chitwan, the person was safely rescued at around 10 pm and sent to Bharatpur for treatment.
As the government is planning to make a two-lane road, hills are being dug at various places to expand the road - a major reason behind the landslides.