A 10-year-old boy has been reported missing after he fell into the Mahakali River while crossing the river by a tuin on Thursday. He has been identified as Dipendra Bista from Byas Rural Municipality, Darchula District.
Police Inspector Jagat Magar of the District Police Office informed that the accident occurred on Thursday but they received the news only on Saturday.
Magar informed that the boy’s mother had gone to the forest on the Indian side to cut dried plant stalks. The child, studying in grade 4, followed his mother when the accident occurred.
It is unfortunate that the practice of crossing rivers by tuins, with the help of a small rope, strung high between the banks of rapidly flowing rivers, still continues in Nepal and many people lose their lives every year due to this practice. Over two dozen people have lost their lives in two wards of Byas Rural Municipality in Darchula alone while crossing rivers in the past 28 years.
A similar incident took place in July 2022. 18-year-old Sachin Budhathoki had gone missing after falling into the Mahakali River at Gothal Ghat, Byas municipality, Darchula. Budhathoki went missing after the cable crossing snapped and he fell into the river while he was returning to Nepal from India via a tuin.
The KP Sharma Oli government in 2015 had pledged to replace all tuin crossings in the country with suspension bridges and had determined that there are 237 temporary bridges in 43 districts, including 155 tuins. However, only four suspension bridges have been built in the Darchula District till date.
The dangers of crossing rivers via tuins were also highlighted recently by newly appointed Minister for Home Affairs Rabi Lamichhane from the Rastriya Swatantra Party who has vowed to work towards its reforms during his tenure.