Makwanpur - DPNet Team, under the leadership of Dr. Raju Thapa, Acting President of DPNet, recently had a productive meeting with Hon. Ganga Narayan Shrestha, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Law (MoIAL) of Bagmati Province. The discussion centered on critical DRR issues in the region, adopting a collaborative and forward-looking approach.
Dr. Raju Thapa, Acting Chair of DPNet, began the meeting by shedding light on the diverse and intricate geographical landscape of Nepal. He underlined the pressing issue of inappropriate infrastructure development that has unintentionally contributed to increasing the hazard risks. Dr. Thapa illustrates the risk scenario specifically within Bagmati Province. He explored the various disaster types and their intensities, substantiating his insights with particular disaster data analysis. He focused on the tough challenge posed by landslides in the province. Dr. Thapa also shared valuable insights into preparedness initiatives and drew from his past experiences to emphasize the vital role of DRR policies.
Dr. Thapa also highlighted the effectiveness of Early Warning Systems in mitigating disaster risks, particularly in the case of floods. He stressed the present need to develop EWS for landslides and other major disasters. Additionally, he pointed out the demanding issues related to haphazard construction practices and the problematic cabinet boxes installed by the Nepal Electricity Authority. Dr. Thapa advocated for a localized approach to hazard management to address these challenges effectively.
Hon. Ganga Narayan Shrestha, Minister of MoIAL, Bagmati Province, responded with a strong commitment to building a resilient society within the province. He proposed strategic and short-term planning measures that would involve volunteer mobilization and an extensive public awareness campaign. Hon Shrestha shared insights into the province's efforts to reduce road accidents through the use of CCTV cameras and stressed the importance of conducting geological investigations in tandem with new construction projects.
Acknowledging Dr. Thapa's sharing, Hon Shrestha restated the significant hazard risks, particularly pertaining to landslides, faced by Bagmati Province. He disclosed a shift in focus from a more centralized approach to addressing flood-related issues towards prioritizing landslide prevention which will include the installation of an early warning system and an emphasis on rescue efforts, training, and indigenous knowledge utilization.
Hon. Shrestha also touched upon the issue of concurrent powers held by the three tiers of government, calling for problem resolution in this regard. He disclosed Bagmati Province's aspirations to establish a separate disaster authority for DRR but pointed to budgetary constraints as a major hurdle. In closing, he sought assistance from DPNet, appealing for their expertise in identifying gaps and shortcomings in DRR policy formulation and implementation within Bagmati Province.