Engineers insist on regular repair

Kathmandu, March 20:

Civil engineers have pointed out the need to regularly monitor and maintain road networks to make the road maintenance cost-effective.

Speaking at a one-day national seminar on Sustainable Road Asset Management in Nepal, jointly organised by Nepal Engineers’ Association and Roads Board Nepal in the capital today, engineer Purna Kadariya, secretary at Ministry of Physical Planning and Works, said the government had pledged huge investment in developing road assets, which could be witnessed in its three-year interim plan. Accordingly, all the 75 districts will be linked by roads in two years.

Stating that total investment on roads had reached Rs 200 billion, Kadariya said the maintenance funds allocated for this fiscal had decreased as compared to last year. He also said that the present climatic condition was the major challenge to road construction and maintenance. “The long dry spell evaporates the moisture necessary for blacktopping while floods cause havoc on the construction and maintenance of roads,” he said.

Vice president of National Planning Commission Dr Gunanidhi Sharma said creating a road network was central to developing other infrastructure, boosting national development and creating employment opportunities. Citing that lack of coordination among government departments had caused deterioration of roads, for example due to unplanned digging for laying pipes or cables, he called upon all the engineers to pay attention to it. NEA president Kishore Shakya said road accidents had not been caused merely by the fault of drivers but also by the sorry state of the roads.

Stating that the national strength of engineers was not capable of carrying out the government’s ambitious plan of national development, he urged the NPC to introduce plans for developing professional efficiency of the skilled human resources.

Four technical papers were presented in the seminar.