Construction of road fails to keep up schedule

Himalayan News Service

Kavre, July 20:

About 50 per cent construction work at Khopasi-Taldhunga agriculture road failed to be finished within the fixed timeframe according to the agreement with Aid Agencies.

According to the agreement, the 69 km long road should have been finished by July 1, but only 32 km of the road has been constructed so far. The road is being constructed with financial support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

About 11 km road from Sikredovan to Taldhunga and 20 to 28 km of the same road is sill to be surveyed, informed Road Division Office, Dhulikhel.

According to a project source, it will take more than one year and an additional Rs 150 millions to finish the road. The World Bank had blocked construction, blaming contractors for not providing wages to workers in 2003.

Contractors were also charged with fraud amounting to millions of rupees. The contractor of local Consumers Committee and Local Administration Officer, Naresh Kumar Chapagai was charged of corruption. So the construction of the road was halted for more than one and half years.

The proposed road is supposed to help local farmers. It mainly aims to reduce the poverty rate, helping local farmers to find better markets. The construction of the road resumed in December last year, but due to different obstacles, its construction was halted. The road is likely to help people of Dhungkharka, Balthali, Chya-sikharka, Bhungdeu VDCs, including ten other VDCs of Makawanpur district. About Rs 240 millions had already been spent on the road, informed Mohan Bhujel, president of District Road Consumer Committee. Further ADB aid is essential to finish its construction, he said.

Anil Kumar Thakur, local development officer informed that the construction of the road would be finished within one year if aid agencies support. The LDO office had demanded additional funds from ADB. “Corruption and irregularities by government employees is the main obstacle for this road,” he said. He claimed that despite all this, the road would be finished within a year.