Delay in bridge construction puts the commuters in lurch

Rukum, July 7

With construction of bridges on the Salyan-Musikot-Rukum section of the Rapti highway delayed, commuters travelling on the route are bearing the brunt.

As per the plan, motorable bridges were supposed to be built in Arigalephedi, Chakhlighat and Tharmare Khola of Salyan and Simrut Khola in Rukum.

Though the tender process of the Chakhlighat, Arigalephedi and Tharmar bridges had started in the fiscal year of 2012, the bridges are yet to be built. While 50 per cent of the construction of Tharmare and Khakhlighat bridges has been completed, barely 2 per cent of of Arigalephedi bridge has been completed.

As for the Simrut Khola bridge, though the survey of the bridge was completed long ago, the tender process is yet to start.

Meanwhile, the locals have expressed dissatisfaction with the delay. “The road was black-topped four years ago, but as there are no bridges till date, passengers have to bear the brunt asvehicles get stranded when the rivers are in full spate during the monsoon,” said a local.

A fund of around 50 million rupees was allocated for construction of bridges that falls under the jurisdiction of the Road Division Office of Rukum, Chaurajahari. Technicians have attributed the delay in the bridge construction to the long official process and negligence on the part of the contractor.

According to Chaurajahari Road Division Office sub-overseer Sampatlal Das, the bridges will be ready by January next year. “As the construction couldn’t be completed, we’ve extended the contract period till January next year,” he said.