BANKE, APR 16 – The procedural delays prior to the commencement of actual constructions have become a major impediment affecting the timely completion of embankments along the Rapti river.
While the rainy season is approaching fast, construction of the embankments at 10 locations along the river in order to prevent potential flood-related damages, including land erosion and inundation, has been stuck in the procedural phase.
As the procedures undertaken before the start of the actual constructions are time-consuming and cumbersome, construction work is often delayed, resulting in sub-standard work.
For instance, the tender process for the construction of the embankments along the river is still in its initial phase with just two months remaining for the end of the fiscal year. As the tender process usually takes a month or more to complete, there is little hope about the completion of the embankments on time.
For the current fiscal year, the government has allocated the budget for the construction of embankments at Khalla Tepari in Phattepur, Bisambharpur, Kanchan-pur-3, Baijapur-6, Shahipura and one spanning through ward 3 to 9 at Binanuna VDC.
Likewise, the Citizen’s Embankment Project (CEP) has stated that budget has already been allocated for the construction of permanent embankments at Hardewa in Kanchanpur, Aaurhawa, Lalpur in Baijapur-6, Gangapur and Holiya VDCs located alongside the Rapti river.
Meanwhile, tender for constructing a new embankment at Holiya VDC has been awarded to the same contractor company which had built the previous embankment that had been swept away by last year’s floods. This time around, however, the contractor has been directed to construct the embankment 700 metres downstream from the previous location. The government has already allocated Rs 60 million for construction of embankments at various locations along the Rapti river.
Stating that the embankments constructed last year had helped minimise the flood-related damages in certain areas, engineer Govinda Raj Wali of CEP said that different tender processes for constructing embankments at various locations along the river are almost complete and that construction work would start soon.
However, locals from the affected areas complained that the constructional delays including other problems have put the settlements alongside the river at
high risk. They also stressed on the need for the government to come up with a long-term solution to resolve the problem.
Meanwhile, government officials said the government’s tendency of allocating insufficient budget was to blame which prevents them from working towards a long term solution. Officials advised that a change in policy was imminent.
Displaced by land erosions and inundations caused by the floods last year, more than 12,000 locals of Tepari, Chauferi and Phattepur are currently living as landless at government run camps for flood victims for the past nine months.