Agitation, blockade taking toll on development works

Okhaldhunga, January 3

The protracted Tarai agitation and blockade at the Nepal-India border points are taking a heavy toll on development works in Okhaldhunga.

Work ranging from labour contribution to issuance of contract have come to a stop.

Some government offices have signed the contracts for many projects. However, contractors are yet to begin work.

Projects worth more than 20 to 25 crore operated by Urban Development and Building Construction Division have been severely affected. The blockade has halted construction of buildings for health facilities as well as local roads.

The construction of health posts at Rampur, Chyanma, Fediguth, Mabhanjyang, Fulbari, Mulkharkha, Mamkha has come to a halt.

Similarly, under urban infrastructure, work at Manebhanjyang of Siddhicharan Municipality has come to halt. Subash Basnet, Chief at Urban Development and Construction Division Office Okhaldhunga, said that work was halted due to scarcity of construction materials.

“We cannot force contractors to begin work in the backdrop of blockade and inflation,” Basnet added.

According to Basnet, work on eight buildings and three urban infrastructure too have been halted in the neighbouring district of Solukhumbu.

Likewise, blockade and agitation have totally halted construction work of Okhaldhunda DDC. Contractors say that fuel crisis has disrupted most of the construction work.

Madhav Prasad Bhattarai, Chief at Office of District Technicians, said the fuel crisis caused by blockade had completely disrupted construction work.

Local Road Infrastructure Programme Coordinator Mahesh Basnet said road digging and putting up fences and wires had continued, but work that required cement and use of machine had been halted.

Wok in most of the projects run by Eastern Regional Irrigation Division has come to a halt too.

Office chiefs at various district offices said they were having a hard time asking contractors to start works given the unfavourable situation.