Road expansion projects moving at snail’s pace

Kathmandu, November 3

The Central Regional Road Directorate of the Department of Roads had deployed a team for the maintenance and repair of the Tripureshwor-Soalteemod road stretch after the itinerary of Indian President Pranab Mukharjee’s Nepal visit was finalised.

As the president was scheduled to attend the first state dinner with his Nepali counterpart President Bidhya Devi Bhandari at Soaltee Hotel on November 2, the directorate commissioned the team to complete the maintenance work within a week. The team worked night and day and repaired the road that was previously riddled with potholes.

“We have successfully completed the maintenance work on Tripureshwor-Nagdhunga route,” Regional Director at the Central Road Directorate Ayodhya Prasad Shrestha told The Himalayan Times.

Shrestha said haphazard storing of construction material along Tripureshwor-Nagdhunga and Chabahil-Jorpati-Sankhu had delayed the maintenance work. The directorate informed that the expansion of both road sections were expected to complete by July 15, 2017, but only about 20 to 25 per cent of work on the Tripureshwor-Nagdhunga section, and 15 to 20 per cent of the work on the expansion Chabahil-Jorpati-Sakhu section have been completed so far.

Considering the current pace, the directorate said road expansion projects are likely to miss their deadlines.

The Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project had resumed expansion of 53 km of road segments in Kathmandu in July this year. The project had started expansion of Tripureshwor-Kalanki, Chabahil-Jorpati-Sankhu, Jorpati-Sundarijal, Lagankhel-Satdobato, Imadol-Siddhipur-Godawari, Karmanasa-Harisiddhi, Dholahiti-Sunakothi-Chapagaun and Nakkhu-Bhaisepati-Bungamati road stretches.

The Kathmandu Valley Development Authority has laid the blame for the delay on both the political and public sector. “We have been stopped from clearing road expansion sites several times by political leaders,” Development Commissioner at the authority Bhai Kaji Tiwari said, “I am planning to discuss the issue directly with the prime minister.”

Kathmandu Metropolitan City has been receiving frequent complaints of dust pollution and problems of potholes from various parts of the Valley. KMC Spokesperson Gyanendra Karki said people living in and around the Tripureshwor-Nagdhunga stretch and Chabahil-Jorpati stretch have complained of pollution, potholes, dust, and other problems.

“Areas adjacent to the construction sites have also been affected adversely,” said Karki.

The Development Committee of the Parliament had directed the government to complete the upgrading of road sections in Kathmandu Valley by the end of the current fiscal a week ago. During a meeting of the committee, parliamentarians had expressed dissatisfaction over the slow pace of work.