On July 8, three people were killed and five houses were washed away in a landslide in Hiude Khola in Ward No.5 of Tinau Rural Municipality, Palpa. Six other houses in the colony are still at risk of being swept away by landslides.
According to the local population, the random extraction of limestone from the cliffs of the upper part of Hiude khola has resulted in frequent landslides in recent years.
“Dolomite Limestone Pvt Ltd. operates a limestone mine in the upper part of Hiude Khola, just above the site of the incident. The landslide caused limestone and debris to fall towards settlements downstream, ”said Dal Bahadur Darlami, president of the No. 5 district. July.
At least 45 households in the Panimil and Jhumsa regions of the rural municipality of Tinau are at risk of landslides.
According to locals, the cliffs above the settlements have developed several cracks due to random limestone mining. A section of about fifty meters of the road between Panimil and Jhumsa along the Siddhartha highway also collapsed.
The road between Hiude Khola and Chhaubismile also suffered damage from landslide debris.
“The government is only focused on generating royalties from limestone excavation. They do not examine the environmental repercussions of such activities, ”said Prem Prasad Pandeya, president of the Tinau-3 constituency.
Currently, three limestone mines are operating above the highway area in the rural municipality of Tinau.
Landslides pose a risk to 33 houses in Shreedanda, near the Siddhartha Minerals Pvt Ltd limestone mine in Tinau. The region experiences active landslides every year, according to local people.
“The excavation of limestone has also led to the drying up of natural springs. Irrigation of our fields has become difficult with water sources drying up every year, ”said Deepak Bajagain, a resident of Jhumsa.
The movement of heavy goods vehicles along rural roads has compounded the weakening of the land mass, leading to road collapses. According to data from the Palpa District Traffic Office, more than 800 trucks carrying limestone use the Siddhartha Expressway daily.
“The cliffs in the Jhumsa, Hiude Khola and Panimil regions have collapsed in the past two years,” Bajagain said.
Limestone mines have been in operation in Tinau for 14 years. Rajesh Shrestha, spokesperson for Tinau Rural Municipality, said the local unit has witnessed several landslides in recent years due to random limestone mining.
“Local people have expressed concern about the exploitation of limestone mines in the area, which has led to frequent natural disasters,” said Shrestha.