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Bagaha : The on going anti-erosion work for protection of 3,700 metre long left bank of river Gandak river from down stream of Gandak barrage at Valmikinagar on Indo-Nepal border in West Champaran district has acquired controversial hue as hundreds of trees of Madanpur forest sector 30 under Valmikinagar forests range in Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) have allegedly been felled by agency executing the work and forest land has been dug and lifted to make space for crates filled bags (GO bags).
It is apprehended that as the JCB has lifted soil, several trees standing on the bank may be washed away in rainy season. Sources said that the trees being felled in the name of anti-erosion work are allegedly being carried by Nepali smugglers through river Gandak in connivance with the some forest and flood protection agency personnel. There are also reports of alleged bungling in filling GO bags. The agency executing work has also not displayed the signboard at the work place.
A  CPI(ML) team led by Birendar Gupta, has submitted a  written complaint to the senior officials state water resources department (WRD) in this connection on their return from the work site on  May 3, 2017. The contractor is not paying wages to the labourers as per the agreement reached with them, alleged one Islam, who came here with dozens of labourers from Malda in Bengal.
When contacted on May 5, 2017, Faruque Azam Lari, Executive Engineer, Flood control division, Bagaha, under whose supervision the work is being carried out, said that the contract for anti-erosion work of down stream of the Gandak barrage, Valmikinagar, was awarded to “New Nalanda Tubewell Boring Engineering Works Ltd.” at cost of Rs 23.33 crore for protection of 3.700 metre long left bank providing for 12 metre wide and one metre high Apron as per the estimate.
The Executive Engineer denied felling of forest trees but admitted shrub clearance for making approach link to carry materials to the site. He claimed that the work will be completed by May 15, 2017.

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