By Siraj Khan,Nepalgunj, May 28: For as many years as they can remember, locals of Ward No. 5 of Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality, in Banke district, have been crossing a river with risks.
The bridgeless river stands between the Lalahi Village in Ward No. 5 and the Rapti River. However, the villagers must cross the river for everything, from shopping to taking a body to the river for final rites.
“There has not been a concrete bridge over the river. A temporary bamboo bridge is constructed once in a while but is always destroyed during monsoon,” said Jhagaru Tharu, chairman of Ward No. 5 of Rapti Sonari.
While the water surface is lower and is less risky for villagers to cross during the summer, they struggle to cross the river during the monsoon as the water level rises and the temporary bridge is damaged.
Many locals, especially farmers, have fallen into the river and got injured over the years while going towards their fields for work.
“We have requested everyone possible – but to no avail. If we believe in the assurances of the higher authorities, a bridge is expected to be constructed in the upcoming fiscal year 2023/24,” said Tharu.
According to Krishna K.C. (Namuna), the elected member of the Lumbini Provincial Assembly from Banke-1, it has now been finalised to construct a bridge in the area.
“Locals have been demanding a bridge for a long time. The Lumbini government has decided to construct a bridge there and a detailed project report has also been prepared,” said KC.