Many bridges along the East- West Highway of Pathliya-Nijgadh road section in Bara are at high risk of collapse after they developed many cracks.

The bridges over Pasaha, Balganga and Lal Bakaiya rivers have developed potholes and vehicles are stuck in queue for long hours. Vehicle drivers said they had to cross the bridges with fear. They said potholes on the bridges could cause accident.

Umesh Thapa, a truck driver who was heading towards Biratnagar with cement, said that his truck might fall into the river if the bridge collapses.

"It is very difficult to drive safely over the bridges due to the potholes," he said.

Suman Karki, another driver, said that it had been many years since the bridges were damaged, but the authority concerned had paid no attention to repairing them.

Chief at Province Traffic Police Office, Pathlaiya, Himal Shrestha, said transportation service had been badly affected due to the dilapidated bridges. He said that a police team was active round-theclock to ease traffic movement.

Shrestha said that even ambulances, at times, got stuck in the traffic jam posing risk to patient's life. He added that no authority concerned had taken initiative to repair the bridges despite frequent requests.

Chief District Officer Surendra Poudel said this office had talked with the Department of Road and that the latter had assured the dilapidated bridges would be repaired soon.

Chief at the Department of Road Office, Hetauda, Khadga Lal Shrestha said that the dilapidated bridges would be repaired soon. He further said that preparations were under way to seek a permanent solution to the problem. "The machines and manpower of the road office will be used to repair the bridges," he said.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 18 2021, of The Himalayan Times.