National

Triyuga River’s flood renders many landless every year

  • Government prepares a strategy to control river havoc at a cost of Rs 6 billion in 10 years
- DILLIRAM KHATIWADA, Udayapur

Apr 15, 2019-

Almost half of Udayapur district in Province 1 gets inundated by floods from Triyuga River every year. Hundreds of families get displaced and vast swathes of arable land are rendered useless by the floods that return every year.

Owing to the floods, farmers in the area have now become landless squatters. Around 1,150 families are now taking shelter at encroached forest areas making their living selling timber. Triyuga, Chaudandhigadhi and Bel are the three prominent municipalities that cover half of the area--and majority of agriculture land--in Udayapur. Unfortunately, 75 percent of this area is in danger of inundation by the Triyuga River.

Because of this imminent danger, the majority of the 5,000 landowners in Sundarpura of Chaudandhigadhi Municipality are left clutching at straws. Dev Narayan Chaudhary, Sundarpura ward chairman, said over two dozen landowners used to have 30 bighas of fertile land each along the edge of Triyuga River.

“People who owned vast swathes of land in the past now hardly possess one bigha,” said Chaudhary. “Landowners have been paying tax for the whole 30 bighas of land in the hope that it will resurface one day. But the problem persists.”

Farmers complain that it has been 20 years that they haven’t been able to cultivate their lands. The cause for the swelling of the Triyuga River every year is attributed to the seasonal rivulets’ sweeping sand and twigs from Chure and Mahabharat hills and depositing them into the Triyuga River. Furthermore, the River’s own tributaries and distributaries too carry mud and sand and deposit them into the lower belt--namely Sundapur, Hadiya and Tapeshwori--resulting in the destruction of thousands of hectares of agriculture land.

Similarly, the Chandra Canal built during the Rana regime is also one of the reasons behind the inundation. The canal is not designed with gates to allow the passing of sediments and mud, which has been leading to the pile up and swelling of the Triyuga River.

Flood control measures

A master strategy has been formulated to control the flooding problem in the Triyuga River. Although the government promised to immediately begin the project by allocating budget, nothing has been done till now.

A record obtained from District Coordination Committee reveals that Rs30 million has been spent by the Indian embassy to control the river’s flow. Likewise, Water Induced Disaster Prevention Technical Centre (DPTC) also spent Rs 50 million to this end. But no sign of work or progress has been seen from these expenditures.

The government has moved ahead with the preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) through a project named Triyuga River Training Works for formulating a flood control strategy. The DPR will be based on constructing embankments on either side of the Triyuga River covering a distance of 42.5 km, along with achieving multipurpose goals concerning irrigation, electricity and drinking water supply.

The DPR for constructing the 42.5 km embankments has already been approved. The cost for this has been estimated at Rs 6.84 billion by Khado River Management Project.

This year Rs 100 million has been appropriated for the controlling of the Triyuga River, following the approval of DPR. The River Project Division Engineer Bishnu Dev Yadav said that the Triyuga River control projects have been classified as a National Project and hence the works to this end will be expedited from the upcoming year onwards. The government has set a 10-year window for the successful execution of this project.

However, Province 1 parliamentarian Bimal Karki expressed concerns about the government’s solution through the current DPR. He said, “As per the current master strategy, the first inconceivable hurdle is the lack of abundant stones for controlling the river. Triyuga, Baruwa and other rivers are already stripped off stones. Where shall we bring stones for constructing the embankments from? The government’s plan doesn’t sound feasible.” 

Published: 15-04-2019 08:40

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