October 25: The monsoon-induced disaster including the recent post-monsoon rains have created a loss of around Rs 4 billion due to the damages caused on roads and bridges across the country in the current fiscal year.
Due to the continuous rainfall for some days since October 17, the country has incurred an estimated loss of Rs 1.5 billion since mid-October alone. The Department of Roads estimates that this amount will further increase as more details of the damage are yet to be collected.
Spokesperson of the department Shiva Prasad Nepal said that the details of the damage are still being collected from some places and the extent of damage is likely to increase. Earlier, rainfall since mid-June had caused damage worth Rs 2.40 billion. During this time, more than 100 roads and 26 bridges have been damaged.
“This year the loss is expected to reach close to Rs 4 billion,” he said, adding, “Our team has not been able to reach Bajhang and other areas in western Nepal. Due to this, the total extent of damage will increase by the time the full details are available.” The Meteorological Forecasting Department informed this was the first time that such a massive rainfall occurred in October in almost 80 years.
Experts believe that climate change has altered the pattern of rainfall. Spokesperson Nepal says that the roads and transport infrastructure have been severely damaged due to the haphazard digging of roads. “Recently, the rising water level in the river touched the bridges,” he said, “As plotting is done in Terai by blocking the natural flow of the water, Terai will now always be flooded.”
Stating that more and more roads are being built in the Terai, he said that it is necessary to control and manage the natural flow of rivers and streams.
The incessant rain in the first few days of after mid-October have damaged roads in 19 places across the country while bridges have also collapsed. According to the Department of Roads, during this period, there has been a loss of more than Rs 1 billion.
Roads in Kalikot, Sindhuli, Manang, Salyan, Pyuthan, Dhankuta, Bajhang, Darchula, Okhaldhunga, Syangja, Doti, Dadeldhura and Baitadi districts have been damaged due to the rain. Of these, the Dumre-Beshisahar-Chame road section has been damaged at three places in Manang district is still blocked. These roads have been blocked since October 19.
Heavy rains have damaged the Siddhartha Highway as well as Dhangadhi-Sahajpur-Budar-Syaule, Satbanjha-Thaktoli-Darchula-Tinker roads of Mid-Hills Highway.