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Well paved roads by August 31?

  Just another pipe dream


To be honest, the rainy season is not the perfect time for the construction of roads from a technical point of view. However, the government has already given target to contractors for completion of widening and repairing the roads. Dusty and muddy, the nature of the roads especially in Kathmandu Valley, is a consequence of poor quality materials used during construction. So, I don’t think that people living in Kathmandu will have the opportunity to walk on wide road even after the completion of construction work. In my opinion, corrupt bureaucratic system, deceitful contractors and unfavourable weather are the main hindering factors for the construction work.

— Er Sameer, Syuchatar, Kathmandu

Of course, it is another breakable dream of Nepalis to walk on the new constructed roads. The government itself is not stable, so, what can we hope from the contractors, who are a part of such an unstable government, to complete the project on time? After the deadline ends, a new date will be announced, similar to what the government does every time. Therefore, dreams never come true for Nepalis.

— Akash Rauniyar, Birgunj

Completing projects on time is very rare in Nepal. Until and unless strict deadlines are given, there is always a slow motion development. Since the government has given a strict deadline for the road expansion to be completed by August 31, it will be partially completed. I do not think Nepalis will be able to walk on newly paved roads as per their dreams soon. However, in this short period, contractors cannot construct strong durable roads completely, because they have not worked with necessary momentum since 2011. Moreover, there are many technical problems, social problems and environmental problems to complete this project on time and monsoon is not a season for road construction. Nevertheless, if constructed, it will be not be durable. Therefore, I think the road expansion will not be completed in given deadline making pedestrians suffer longer.

— Anonymous

Seeing the pace of the construction, I do not think that Nepalis will be able to walk on newly paved roads soon. It is just another dream that is farfetched because if they complete the roads early, then people concerned will have less money in their pockets. Due to the lack of loyalty and dedication towards their work and selfish thoughts, they may delay their work as much as possible. If the contractors think of completing their work for the benefit of public rather than theirs, then somehow walking on newly paved roads within the deadline can be a dream come true.

— Rownika Shrestha, Mahaboudha, Kathmandu

In Nepal, none of the projects will be completed within a given time. I have the best example — the drafting of the new constitution of Nepal, which has crossed many such stipulated deadlines. Yet, it is not finished. Perhaps, walking on newly paved roads within the given deadline will be just another dream for Nepalis. Because, only 50 per cent of total work is finished until now and the remaining work cannot be completed in the remaining time.

Incessant rain, uncooperative government authorities and local people, inadequate budget and corrupt officials are the hindering factors to complete the project on time. I have heard that the government has brought the system of reward and punishment for those contractors who have been involved in this project. If, this is a fact, firstly, government should be punished for not drafting the new constitution in the mentioned date, then only should the contractors’ turn come. Therefore, we local people, government authorities and officials along with contractors are equally responsible for this delay. All of us must be concerned about this issue.

— Bijaya Shrestha, Tauthali

I hope that Nepalis will be able to walk on newly paved roads within the deadline. It is possible as we can see the construction work going on at a fast pace to widen the roads. The workers are seen busy constructing walls, using dozers, et cetera.

It has been said that due to monsoon this project would not complete on time. I believe the work, in fact, will be completed within Dashain and surely traffic problems will soon be solved. Though it is difficult to walk on both sides of the road due to dust and mud during rainy days, it has made people happier with the hope of being able to walk on newly constructed roads soon. According to the work that is going on, we are sure we will get the newly paved roads soon.

— Deep Kiran Khadka ‘Chintan’

The issue of paving and widening roads is a relevant issue raised so far in the weekly question. There is hardly anything we can do to get things done by the government authority in the time stipulated. Crossing the deadlines and adding more time has become a trend. If that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t have such doubts about the current government. I am sure all the people are quite sceptical about this issue as me.

It is not possible for those contractors to construct the roads within the given time. But it would have been different and liable if they go for private construction other than government. Then the same contractor would take up the responsibility and make it happen within the given time frame. Therefore, it is hard to believe that the contractors, who are committed to finish the construction by August 31, will be able to complete it.

— Arjun Prasad Tiwari

In our country, most of the works are not completed on time. I think even the road expansion will not be completed within the given deadline. There may be several reasons behind it but the main cause behind it is political instability and government’s focus on elections. The contractors probably haven’t received the allotted budget for the task. So for me, it’s like a dream to walk on paved roads by August 31.

— Bikash Agrawal, Hetauda

Although the government has given August 31 as a deadline to the contractors in the road expansion process, this seems next to impossible.

There are many reasons behind the delay. One of which could be the dwindling number of labourers in Nepal. Many of them have flown to countries like Qatar, Malaysia et cetera. And those who are here in Nepal, unless responsibility seeps deeply into them, nothing matters. Other reason might also include the monsoon mayhem.

— Anonymous

Toiling the whole night just before the day of exam, hurrying to meetings with just a minute to spare and admitting patient during his/her last stage has become the common phenomenon of Nepali society. Contractors are no different here. This will take us nowhere, rather it will only create mess. The contractors seem to work at full capacity now as the deadline is approaching. However, things cannot finish with a swoosh of a wand within a week.

We would be fooled if we dream of widened and well paved roads within the deadline. Lack of periodic assessment, political interference in selection of contractors, low incentive to contractors and pressure on them are the main loopholes for such a situation.

— Shristi Joshi, Kathmandu

Walking on the extended and paved roads by August 31 would be like an incomplete dream. The contractors had enough time to complete the work and the expansion is still incomplete. How can it be completed by August 31? The contractors, mostly, are lured to earn money rather than making the perfect paved roads.

Another issue is of the pathetic situation of the runway of our international airport in the country. They have not properly built the runway, how can they be serious about building a road? Using low quality materials and lack of proper observation has made it even worse. Not only in the Valley but also in the other parts of the country, it is almost impossible to have good paved roads until the government implements strict laws. The deadlines do not work and proper inspection is mandatory.

— Pratap Pandey Prince, Pandeybeshi, Gorkha

The extension of narrow roads in core areas of the Capital is definitely a positive endeavour to solve the increasing traffic woes. As far as deadline is concerned, given by the government to contractors, the project seems to surpass the deadline. The pace of the construction work is quite slow, which will still take some more months. For this we can’t solely blame the contractors.

There are several factors associated with this. Firstly, the ever increasing traffic is keeping the roads busy all the time which has created difficulties to carry out the job smoothly. Another factor is shortage of construction materials in nearby quarries as most of the quarries are closed due to continuous rain. Thirdly, the season (monsoon) itself is a great hindrance. And finally, the contractors always use low quality materials to maximise their profit, instead of using quality materials like ready mixed concrete, which could have supported to speed up the work.

— Ningmar Lama, Kavre

Obviously, the city with broad paved roads, clean environment with smooth traffic would be a dream of every Nepali and is a challenge for the government. The government policy to complete the project by August 31 has created pressure on contractors. Moreover, it does not seem possible because of the unfavourable rain, management of electricity and telephone wires, also drainage and water pipes are the real challenges.

The government has a huge investment here and should be responsible towards the public property which has been destroyed earlier. However, there are several challenges.

The authority concerned must be sincere to complete the project on time using good quality materials. To avoid public complaints there must be regular inspection. Then only is it possible to dream a Kathmandu with broad and well paved roads.

— Anonymous

The road expansion attempt of our government which has slaughtered the charm and beauty of the city is heading towards its end. This attempt which was thought to be never-ending is said to be completed by August 31. But such developmental dreams have been shattered many times, I don’t have any hope this time too.

There are many obstacles which will definitely compel this drive to remain a dream only. The most disturbing factor is the present weather condition. Unexpected and unimagined rains at any time has become a great problem. Moreover, the places like Lazimpat are so busy and congested that it is very difficult to manage enough space for storing the required materials for road construction.

Though the government has announced some penalties along with incentives, our country does not lack depraved thekdars who run away without completing the assigned tasks. So, I think the dream of Nepalis to travel on a wide and smooth path will never come true. But let’s hope for a miracle this time and see if government completes its attempt.

— Anonymous

Looking at the present situation of Nepal, I don’t think the task of road expansion will be completed within August 31. If the government succeeds in completion of the task within the given time, I don’t think the public will face any difficulty walking on the roads. Anyway, they must be careful while using the newly constructed path.

The present government must be serious and sincere to make whichever task it is performing or going to perform successful. We can see that the government of Nepal fails at every task mainly due to lack of commitment, laziness, corruption and shortage of sufficient funds. They can be clearly termed as hindering factors. Hence, it is the duty of the present government to become serious and sincere and then try everything which is possible when it comes to performing such an important duty.

— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor

It is obvious that the contractors cannot complete the task within a week from now, but will accomplish their targets only to some extent. Many reasons can be listed down for lagging behind — monsoon season, locals’ protests, closure of stone and sand quarries and so forth. But the major one is irresponsibility of the people concerned. It’s high time for all groups to realise the impact of the delay they are causing, prolonging the hardships among locals, foreigners and distorting the beauty of the country. Being far-sighted, they ought to act systematically and most importantly, sincerely and finish what they have started.

We are already facing problems from the runway issue causing a hard blow to our tourism industry, when we are nearing the peak seasons. And we don’t another problem adding to it.

— Smita Shrestha, Basundhara, Kathmandu

The government officials drive around in sleek SUVs and have no idea what we have been through for years struggling through pot holes, dust and water clogged roads.

Some main areas may get new and improved roads but there’s too much work left. It didn’t happen in the last two years, I don’t know what makes them think it’ll happen in a week!

— Pooja Lakhey

I feel the road expansion project will be completed after a week but we will not have good roads. Driving and walking on good roads in Nepal is just another dream. May be it will be properly completed by August 31 in 2014 only.

In my opinion, the main hindering factor for road construction work is economic crisis. The other factor is the Nepal government as well as the contractors who have not taken their responsibility seriously. Rainfall and corruption are yet other hindering factors.

— Sabin Guragain, Baneshwor, Kathmandu

The Valley’s road expansion project was initiated by Dr Baburam Bhattarai-led government. It’s a matter of appreciation for the laudable initiative taken by Dr Bhattarai and that it is being continued by the incumbent government. Instead of frequent flak, every good step taken for the development is to be admired and assisted as well, from all the sectors. As the road construction is not completed, a lot of people are facing the trouble of walking past the dusty and squelchy pavement.

August 31 definitely won’t see Nepalis walking on newly paved roads. It would merely be another dream for Nepalis. It’s nothing more than the usual false assurance of the government to complete the task. Nepali people don’t value time. Our every activity is motivated by so called ‘Nepali Time’. We never do anything on time and finish it.

Corruption, lack of responsibility towards nation, less effort and proper supervision of government and contractor, lack of effective coordination between government and contractor, lack of proper mobilisation of the workers can be some of the key reasons behind this delay. Let’s have patience and wait for our dream to come true even after the deadline, whatsoever!

— Laxmi Prasad Rai, Kirtipur, Kathmandu

The guaranteed deadline given by the government to the contractors to complete road expansion and maintenance by August 31 is unbelievable. I don’t think Nepali people will be able to walk on newly paved roads within this deadline. It is impossible because there are numbers of hindering factors such as impossible electricity maintenance, difficulty in drinking water pipe lines management, sewage treatment works, sanitation works and gravelling of the tarred roads in this short period. Other factors include government’s focus on CA election, laziness of contractors, carelessness of authorities concerned and lack of strict law and ignorance of stakeholders. In addition, the election code of conduct, weak and flexible contractual rules and regulation, improper arrangement of traffic, unavailability of materials and workers, mismanagement of demolishing building, walls et cetera are also the prime causes of it. Consequently, Nepali people are facing these difficulties. The government, authorities concerned, contractors and stakeholders should understand these issues. People’s welfare should be given priority.

— Padam Chhetri, Baksila-04, Khotang

The deadline of the road expansion project is approaching and we still have unmanaged and damaged roads everywhere. Walking on newly built roads is certainly the biggest dream of those living in the city. Everyday commute would have been smoother and traffic management would have been easier. On a sad note, this dream of every Nepali would remain a dream. In a week’s period, it is impossible to complete this project and there are various hindering factors, which contribute in the delay of road construction.

It is the negligence of the authority as they should be observant and regular supervision is necessary in order to make it possible. Another factor could be the corrupt nationals who rather than investing in the quality goods, keep the money in their pocket leaving the project incomplete. Most importantly, I do not think it was a good idea to construct roads in monsoon. However, let us hope we will soon be able to walk on wide and smooth roads very soon.

— Anonymous

Nepalis have been used to living in dreams. This dream of walking and driving on the well paved road within August is nothing but a dream that will fade away. However, the works are going on. Piles of sand, gravel on the roads and the people working at the sites are there to make us dream but the slow progress in the work will not be able to meet the deadlines. The heavy traffic on the roads during the daytime while the work is going on is one of the hazards for the progress of road expansion. Rather the road expansion work should be done during the night as there are a few vehicles plying.

As the deadline is already here, roads are still in the same condition as they were three months ago. Therefore, work shouldn’t be done just for the sake of doing, rather it should be done for the proper output. If the roads are constructed within August as per the deadline, then these roads made in a hurry will have holes after a few days. Therefore, whatever the deadline may be, the roads should be constructed which remains in good condition for a long time.

— Anjana Poudel, Koteshwor

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