THT watch

Kathmandu, November 27:

The construction of Shanti Marga, an inner road from Swarnim Tara School to Janata Sadak in Koteshwor, has been recently completed at the initiation of locals. The 510-metre-long road remained an earthen footpath for 17 years. It is the first time the footpath was turned into a 26-feet wide blacktopped motorway.

Jhapat Bahadur Bohora, chairman of the Shanti Tol Sudhar Samiti, prefers to call the road a “highway” now. “We had to take off our shoes and wade through swamp during the rainy season,” he recalled, adding: “Whenever vehicles used to whiz past along the road, shops located on either sides of the road used to be completely swathe in dust during summer.”

Muck and dust compelled the locals to take the initiative to improve the situation of their area. KMC chief security Dhanapati Sapkota, who was a resident of the area, also helped to expedite the construction work.

Sapkota played a major role in convincing a contractor to work on credit. The contractor has initially signed for the construction of only 360 metre of the road, but the road was later extended to Janata Sadak, near Manohara River. “We did not have enough money, but Sapkota convinced the contractor for constructing the road on credit,” Bohora said. Saying that it is hard to believe that a contractor works on credit, Bohara, when asked about the quality of the road, said that there was no chance that the contractor could be duped.

“It was the contractor’s generosity that he agreed to work under our conditions,” Bohara further said.

Who fixed it

The increasing number of vehicles plying on the road had further deteriorated the condition of the road. Members of the committee pulled their socks up to make it happen. They kept on prodding the KMC and finally it agreed to provide financial assistance. The KMC pledged 90 per cent of the total Rs 3.8 million budget, under the condition that locals would bear the remaining amount.

“We fixed the amount that the locals would bear between Rs 250 to Rs 2,500 per house, depending on the distance of house and width of the road,” Jhapat Bahadur Bohora, chairman of the Shanti Tol Sudhar Samiti, said, adding: “We have not been able to collect money from those who just own land along the road and we also don’t know who the owners are.”

Jhapat Bahadur Bohora, chairman of the Shanti Tol Sudhar Samiti.

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