Who is responsible for the Kapan incident?
KATHMANDU: A 10-year-old child lost his life after falling into an open drainage in Kapan. But, none of the government authorities have taken responsibility though the incident occurred due to the sheer negligence of the state.
Neither the victim’s family got the compensation nor sympathy from any of the government agencies.
The body of Ujjwal Bishwokarma was found on Sunday, five days after he went missing from Kapan. But, none of the representatives from the state have reached out to the victim’s family yet.
When we reached Kapan on Friday, we saw no changes at the incident site as the drainage was still open.
Local police, people’s representatives and the Department of Irrigation have not owned up to the incident yet.
Shambu Prasad Bhattarai, ward chairman of Budhanilkantha Municipality-12, said that the Department of Water and Irrigation was awarded the contract to construct the drainage. The contract was given to three construction companies in three years. But the construction has not been completed yet.
The Lama Construction Service was awarded with the contract to construct the drainage last year. “As the Lama Construction Service completed the project in May, we cannot say that the incident occurred due to the negligence of the construction company,” Yadav Sigdel, Chief at the Department of Water and Irrigation, said. He added that the contractor should not be blamed for the incident.
Sigdel said that the government is compelled to call the contract every year owing to the lack of budget.
He said that Rs 7.5 million was allocated for the construction of drainage last year. Sigdel said that 65 percent works were completed with the same budget and 44 percent of works are yet to be completed.
He said that Rs 7 million was allocated for the construction this year. But, the budget is less than expected.
The process to announce the contract for this year has already been started.
“We will announce the tender now. It will take two months to start the work after completing the tender process,” he said.
Who is responsible?
Chief at the Department of Water and Irrigation Sigdel said that iron bars were installed at the incident site to avert accidents.
“Iron and bamboo bars were installed at the high risk places. But, floods might have washed away the bars or the bars might have been stolen in the night. I think people might have stolen the bars.”
Local representatives with the help of locals had installed the bars at the incident site. But, that is not reliable.
Sigdel said that no one should be blamed for the incident.