Century-old tunnel being restored

Hetauda, February 24

The government of Bagmati Province is all set to start renovating a tunnel road built more than a 100 years ago in Makawanpur’s Hetauda sub-metropolis-15.

It has also been conducting a study to conserve the tunnel, which is the first of its type built in the entire South Asia region. “Both the provincial and the local governments have shown interest in renovating the run-down tunnel road and are preparing to initiate work,” said Churiyamai temple and Tunnel Protection Committee Chairperson Prem Bamjan.

Chief Minister Dormani Poudel also had taken initiative for restoration and conservation of the tunnel ever since he took charge of the provincial government. “As promotion of the tunnel would help promote local tourism industry, we at the local government are also ready to help in this regard,” said Mayor Hari Bahadur Mahat.

According to Physical Infrastructure Development Minister Rameshwor Fuyal, renovation of the tunnel will start from new year of the Bikram Sambat calendar.

It is said the tunnel road built in the year 1917 was in operation until the sixties, before the Tribhuvan Highway came into operation. As per historical records, then civil engineer Brigadier General Dillijung Thapa had built the tunnel road as a short-cut to reach Hetauda from the premises of Churiyamai temple.

The tunnel road has been mentioned in the famous Swiss geographer Toni Hagen’s book — The Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.