Govt unveils new road plans

Kathmandu, September 11:

The Ministsry of Physical Planning and Works (MPPW) today unveiled plans to construct roads and other physical infrastructure, both in and outside Kathmandu. Assistant minister for Physical Planning and Works Jagat Gauchan said during a meet here in the capital that the ministry was committed towards seeing through its plans and policies in accordance with the government’s 21-point development agenda. “We believe roads are the backbones of local development. Thus our ministry is planning many new road projects and is working towards completing the projects that are already underway,” Gauchan said. “We have both long and short term programmes.”

According to Gauchan, the MPPW is planning construction of roads along the Baglung-Beni-Jomsom-Lomanthang route, which the donors have shown great willingness to finance. The road to Tamghas, the headquarters of Gulmi, will also be completed soon, while the construction of a road from Dadheldhura to Baitadi has started, he said. Similarly, the construction of roads between Mirchaiya and Okhaldhunga, Panchthar and Taplejung, Sigadhi and Safebagar will begin this year, he said, “while the 30-km section between Jumla and Kalikot will be completed by March next year.” All the major roads in Kathmandu — the Jadibuti-Gothatar-Gokarna road, Mahahara-Sallaghari road, Bagmati Corridor road, Golfutar-Mandikhatar road, plus a few others — will be given a facelift , Gauchan said. “We are also planning to construct green belts and cycle-tracks along the Ring Road.”

He informed that legal provisions were being worked out to make development activities more smooth. “The Kathmandu Area Development Council Act and the Real Estate Act will be formulated soon. Under the new provision, only earthquake-resistant houses will be built and all five development regions will have programmes for displaced families,” he said. When asked about the Melamchi drinking water project, he said “Drinking water from Melamchi will flow in the capital on time”. By March next year, Gauchan said, “five new tubewells will be buiklt and 10 existing ones repaired for better distribution of water.” Secretary at the MPPW Janak Lal Joshi said that the government was thinking about declaring some places in the capital “dry regions”. Those residing in these regions will have to pay less as they will get less water, Joshi said.