Over 30 bridges damaged

Kathmandu, August 17

Incessant rainfall that resulted in massive floods and landslides across the country have damaged over 30 bridges, two of them irreparably, along the major highways.

According to the Department of Roads, two major bridges along the Mahendra Highway — Ratu Nadi bridge at Bardibas, Mahottari, and Dudhaura bridge in Bara — have suffered irreparable damage due to the floods.

“Two major bridges have suffered such extensive damage that they will have to be completely rebuilt, while another 30 or so bridges have suffered partial damage and it will be possible to bring them back into operation after repairs,” said Ramesh Kumar Singh, joint spokesperson for DoR.

According to him, though most bridges in the Tarai region have suffered some damage, few will require major repair work.

He added that landslides had damaged small culverts in multiple places along the major highways, mostly in the hilly region. The affected highways include Tribhuvan Highway, Prithvi Highway and Pasang Lhamu Highway.

“Landslides in the hilly region have obstructed vehicular movement in some parts,” Singh said.

While the government is in the process of collecting information about the situation across the country, DoR said security personnel had barred heavy vehicles from crossing numerous bridges that had suffered slight damage for fear of causing further damage to the structures.

The government is mostly focused on clearing the debris and carrying out minor repair work as stopgap measure. But the DoR is planning to carry out extensive repair and maintenance work on the damaged bridges and road network as soon as possible.

Moreover, the government authority is yet to carry out an assessment of financial loss due to the damage to roads and bridges.

Meanwhile, Rajesh Kazi Shrestha, chairman of Nepal Chamber of Commerce, said supply of goods had only been partially affected due to landslides and floods.

“While the supply chain has been affected a little, traders have enough stock of goods at the moment, and

we don’t expect the market to be affected,” he said.