Khotang, May 14
Thanks to the negligence of contractors barely 50 per cent of blacktopping work on the Diktel-Halesi road in the Mid-hill Highway has been completed even though the contract period has expired.
Upgradation of the 34.43km road had started at the start of fiscal year 2014/15 with financial assistance of Asian Development Bank. Stipulated to be completed by March this year, the project had started by dividing the road into three sections to expedite work so as to meet the deadline.
While base course work for blacktopping has started on the Halesi-Bijule road section now, on the remaining road sections, namely, Bijule-Hurlung and Hurlung-Diktel road sections, work related to sub-base course, that is laying gravel has finished.
As per the design of the project worth nearly 750 million rupees, the upgraded road will be 5.5 metres wide.
“As per the contract, the project should have been finished by March, but sadly only about half of the work has finished by the end of the contract period,” said project Chief Govind Wagle of the Diktel-Halesi road project.
While Lumbini Kankai Surya Construction had been in-charge of the construction on the 12km Halesi-Bijule section, Lama Nagarjun Trishuli had been entrusted with blacktopping the 12km Bijule-Hurlung and 11.4km Hurlung-Diktel road sections. The contractors have cited border blockade and earthquake as reasons for the delay in construction and are said to be preparing to seek an extension of the contract period.
Just a week ago, a team from the district administration office had monitored the road responding to complaints from locals about the tardy and sub-standard work. During monitoring, the team had expressed dissatisfaction with the contractors for not doing the work as per the expectation. “Whatever work has been done is not up to the mark and the structures are not strong,” said former lawmaker Kul Prasad Fuyal.
A version of this article appears in print on May 15, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.