Decade-old bailey bridge rusting for want of repairs

Rukum, March 9

The locals in Rukum are blaming the government for neglecting to carry out the required maintenance of the dilapidated bailey bridge on the Rapti Highway.

The bailey bridge on the highway that links Solbang and Bairagithati of Rukum’s Musikot Municipality was built around 12 years ago. Without regular maintenance, the metal used in the construction of the bridge has rusted and begun rotting.

More than 50 vehicles, both large and small, ply on the bridge every day. “The bridge is starting to rust and crumble without any maintenance,” said Dasharath KC, a local  of Solbang, who also expressed fear of accidents.

Another local Tek Bahadur BK also bemoaned the neglect the concerned authorities have displayed towards repairing the bridge. “Everyone knows that something should be done to avoid a possible accident, but no one seems to be bothered,” he said.

On its part, the Road Division Office, Chaurjahari has said it will do the needful. “We know that the bridge was built by the Nepali Army but don’t know anything more about it, like its capacity and lifespan, which is causing the delay in repair,” said engineer Sushil Poudel of the office, who informed that his office was preparing to call a tender worth 3.7 million rupees within a fortnight for the repair.