After a night of rainfall, people woke up to flooded homes and streets in several parts of Bhaktapur on Thursday morning.

Kathmandu Valley received 129.6mm of rainfall in 10 hours beginning late Wednesday night, and the Hanumante Khola, a tributary of Bagmati River, overflowed into surrounding roads, homes and fields by morning. Experts said although rainfall had been heavy, the primary cause of the floods was haphazard house, road and wall construction along the floodplain on the river.

Poor drainage and infrastructure also aggravated the problem, leaving hundreds of people stranded and schools closed. The army and the armed police were called in for rescue work.

Posting pictures of flooded streets on social media, some people ridiculed PM KP Oli for dreaming about an ocean-going merchant marine rather than fixing more urgent  problems of road, drainage and transportation on land.

The criticism seems to have stung the ruling party. In Parliament, Bhaktapur MP Mahesh Basnet asked the government to arrest people under the cyber law for ridiculing the PM’s dream of launching ships, instead of showing sympathy for flood victims.

All photos: Bikram Rai

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