Kathmandu, July 19
Department of Roads today said that repair and blacktopping of all roads in Kathmandu was unlikelyto till rainy season ended.
Assistant Spokesperson for DoR Ramesh Kumar Singh said the department had mobilised all four division offices to fill the pits and potholes and he expected 30 to 30 per cent work to be completed by Saturday.
“We are doing our best to fill the pits and fix open drains, but we will not be able to fill all potholes and blacktop them during the rainy season due to ongoing work on Melamchi water supply project and lack of budget,” said Singh, adding that the division offices would first fix potholes in division-1 (Tripureshwar to Budhanilkantha road section) and then in division-2 (Tripureshwar- Kalanki-Nagdhunga road section).
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had on July 16 instructed authorities concerned to fix potholes in Kathmandu within 15 days.
According to Division Office-2 Chief Devraj Tamang, workers are rapidly fixing potholes. He said repair work on inner roads was being carried out by Kathmandu Metropolitan City.
Development Commissioner of Kathmandu Valley Development Authority Bhai Kaji Tiwari told this daily that almost half of the Valley’s roads need repair. Of the total 1,600-km roads in the Valley, 800-km roads have not been blacktopped yet, said Tiwari. Assistant Spokesperson Singh further said that his office had requested the Melamchi water supply project to fill trenches it had dug for laying pipelines.
Singh said DoR was not sure whether the budget would suffice to fix the Valley’s roads. “In last fiscal year we had demanded Rs 12 billion for road maintenance but we got only Rs 3 billion,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minster Sher Bahadur Deuba today asked KMC Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya and Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi to coordinate with agencies carrying out road repair. He also told them to encourage Kathmandu residents to construct houses in traditional style.
“Tourists come to visit the country not to look at concrete structures, but medieval art and architecture,” PM’s Press Coordinator Govinda Pariyar quoted Deuba as telling the chiefs and deputy chiefs of KMC.
A version of this article appears in print on July 20, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.