‘Settle disputes over expansion in a month’

Kathmandu, December 31

The Parliamentary Committee on Development today instructed the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the Department of Roads and Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project (KVRIP) to resolve all the disputes regarding widening of Tripureshwor-Kalanki-Nagdhunga road within a month.

One of the major problems faced by the government in widening the crucial section of the strategic road is delay in demolition of properties built on the right of way due to objections made by the locals.

As per the government, right of way on highways should be 25 metres wide. This means the government does not have to extend compensation while acquiring up to 12.5 metres of land on each side from the centre of the road.

“But locals in Kalanki to Nagdhunga area are demanding that they be compensated for the land as well, although we have already agreed to provide compensation for house and other properties that need to be demolished. However, we are not in a position to fulfil this wish because there is no legal provision on this,” said KVRIP Chief Manoj Shrestha. “As a result, our officials have not been able to conduct construction survey, which is delaying widening of the road.”

The parliamentary committee today directed concerned authorities to resolve all these problems within a month.

It also said the processes of acquiring land and extending compensation have to be carried out simultaneously. “Also, ownership of land that has been acquired should be transferred immediately to the government,” says the directive issued today, adding, “The government should hand over the contract only after settling the disputes with the locals.”

Tripureshwor-Kalanki-Nagdhunga road is being widened due to significant rise in volume of traffic. As a result, the road segment faces traffic congestion throughout the day, raising travel time for commuters. Once the road is widened, it will turn into a six-lane road.

The government is widening the Tripureshwor-Kalanki-Nagdhunga road by dividing it into two segments. Under the first segment, Tripureshwor-Kalanki road will widened by six metres from the existing 12 metres. This will enable the government to widen the road to six-lane road from the existing four-lane. This road segment will also have two-metre wide pavement on each side of the road.

“The Kathmandu Valley Development Authority has already demarcated the boundaries and compensation will be extended accordingly if properties have to be demolished,” Shrestha said.

Under the second segment, Kalanki-Nagdhunga road — the main gateway to enter Kathmandu Valley — will be upgraded.

“Once the contracts are handed over, the government should not shy away from blacklisting them if they fail to complete the project on time because delay in construction negatively affects commuters and even creates health hazards,” the parliamentary committee has said.