Nepal | July 09, 2020

Highway named after late communist leader

Umesh Poudel
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Kathmandu, May 21 

The government has formally named an under construction double-lane highway ‘Madan Bhandari Highway’ through the policies and programmes of the government announced today.

The name of the highway, which was informally called ‘Chure Highway’ earlier, was announced by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari while she presented the government’s ‘Policies and Programmes’ at the Parliament today. The Cabinet had decided to name the highway after the late communist leader on Sunday.

Being developed as an alternative to the country’s East-West (Mahendra) Highway, construction of the 1,200-kilometre-long Madan Bhandari Highway, which will extend from Shantinagar of Jhapa in the east to Rupal of Dadeldhura in the west, is already under way. The government has set a target to complete the project within the next 10 years.

According to Rajendra Raj Sharma, spokesperson for Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT), the highway had been split into 11 sections. The first section includes Shantinagar of Jhapa to Dharan; the second section comprises Dharan-Chatara-Gaighat-Sindhuli to Hetauda; while the third section includes Hetauda to Gaindakot. MoPIT is planning to merge the Hetauda-Gaindakot section of Madan Bhandari Highway with East-West Highway, Sharma informed.

Similarly, Gaindakot to Ridi form the fourth section, Ridi to Simaltari of Gulmi is in the fifth section, Simaltari to Pyuthan make up the sixth section, Pyuthan to Dang has been categorised as the seventh section, eighth section include Ghorahi to Surkhet, Surkhet to BP Nagar of Doti had been divided as the ninth section, 10th section include BP Nagar to Buder of Doti and the last section comprise Buder to Rupal of Dadeldhura district.

Sharma had earlier informed that the contract to construct the 315-kilometre-long section of the highway from Dharan to Hetauda had already been awarded and construction works are ongoing.

The total construction cost of 1,200-km-long Madan Bhandari Highway is expected to hover around Rs 50 billion. The Department of Roads has informed that per kilometre construction cost of the highway will stand at around Rs 60 million. However, the actual construction cost of highway will be ascertained only after the detailed project reports (DPRs) of all the sections are prepared.

The highway will be located 25 to 30 km to the north of Mahendra Highway and 25 to 30 km south of the Pushpalal Highway.

A version of this article appears in print on May 22, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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