People in Karnali compelled to cross river in rickety tuin


People in Kharpunath Humla, district are still depending on a risky tuin (cable contraptions) to cross the mighty Karnali River. Photo: Rajan Raut

By Our Correspondent, Humla, June 18: One of the key habits of Nepali politicians is indulging in tall talks. It is evident from the photograph accompanying this news report and the claims made by the previous governments.

In 2019, the government led by KP Sharma Oli had planned to make the country tuin-free by January 14, 2021. 

But in June 2024, the people in Kharpunath Rural Municipality in Humla district are still depending on a risky tuin to cross the mighty Karnali River.

The locals are compelled to cross the Karnali by cable contraptions, also known as tuin in local language, as the construction of a concrete bridge has been delayed.

The Infrastructure Development Office selected a company to build a motorable bridge over the Karnali at Lali Bagar but when the company did not build the bridge, people of three wards of Kharpunath are still using the tuin to go across the river.

Bir Singh Rawal, a local of Kahrpunath Rural Municipality-2, said that locals had no option but to cross the Karnali by tuin at Lali Bagar. “If we do not use this tuin, we have to walk four hours to reach Bokche village to cross the river by a suspension bridge,” he said. “As it takes time to reach the suspension bridge, many villagers tend to cross the river by the tuin risking their life.” 

According to Rawal, there was also a suspension bridge at Lali Bagar in the past, but it collapsed due to explosions while building the Karnali Corridor. 

After the collapse of the suspension bridge, the cable contraption was fixed by the rural municipality. 

Ward Chair Chandra Rawal said that although the contract to build the bridge was awarded three years ago, it has not been built and the people of the three wards were using the tuin to cross the Karnali. 

Ward Chair Rawal himself had to use the tuin to go across the river to distribute food on Monday. 

He said even 1 per cent work on the bridge was not done, and it the construction of the motorable bridge was delayed, they had no option but to build a suspension bridge there. 

When KP Sharma Oli assumed office of the Prime Minister during his first stint in September 2015, he had declared that he would displace the tuins, rope bridges, from the country within two years.

It has been over eight years since the declaration made with Oli himself serving as the PM for the second term from February 2018 to July 2021, the people are still seen crossing rivers using tuins. 

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