By Smita Adhikari, Pokhara, July 9: Each time it rains, water from the under-construction Pokhara Regional International Airport (PRIA) enters the human settlements, mostly in Chauthe and Majeripatan of Pokhara Metropolitan City-14.
Although the victims frequently reached the concerned bodies requesting to manage the water, no one has paid attention to their problems.
“We have apprised the Pokhara Regional International Airport (PRIA) administration, the District Administration Office, Ward Office and police of the problems for two years, but the problem is as it was two years ago,” Hemanta Dhakal, a local of Pokhara-14 said. On Wednesday, around 200 angry locals reached the administration office of the airport and picketed it.
They also reached the office of Ward No. 14 after an outlet built by the airport project to send water from the airport construction site to the Bijayapur River overflowed and entered their settlement on Tuesday night. They were so aggressive that they threatened the officials to padlock their offices.
They demanded that the water canal be managed in such a way that no water from it enters the settlement. According to them, the water overflowed from the outlet has not only inundated their houses but also caused damages to their vegetable gardens and farms.
Tuesday night, water overflowed from the outlet damaged roads and foot trails in the Chauthe. Before the construction of the regional airport began, the area was a big rice farm with adequate water sources for irrigation facilities.
In a bid to collect all the water from the construction site, the PRIA had built an outlet to send the water to the Bijayapur River. According to Krishna Prasad Poudel of the project, the project management team has already formed a 'task force' to solve the problem of water flow from the outlet. "We are now holding talks with the Irrigation Department to find a solution to the problem facing locals,” Paudel said.