Khotang, December 30
Three years into its construction, Khotang’s Diktel-Khotang Bazaar road is yet to come into operation.
The 74-km road was constructed through Rural Access Programme with the assistance of UK government at a cost of around Rs 363.3 million. If brought into operation, the road is expected to benefit the residents of three dozen villages in Constituency 2 of the district.
“The road, which also touches Thamkharka airport, was completed years ago, but is yet to come into operation,” said Bhola Dahal, a local of Sapteshwor Chhita Pokhari-3.
Khotang folks attributed the non-functioning of the road to local political parties and state authorities.
“Years have passed since its construction, but the so-called leaders of political parties and local state authorities seem apathetic about operating the road, which is now awaiting repairs without even being used,” said a local. A few tractors are seen plying on a short stretch of the road while the rest of it needs repairs as it was swept away by flood and buried by landslides.
Meanwhile, lawmaker Bishal Bhattarai of the area blamed District Development Committee and Swiss Development Cooperation for delay in operating the road.
“The road is not being used because DDC and SDC had taken the responsibility to repair it, but they are yet to do so,” he argued.
District Technicians’ Office Khotang Chief Engineer Raju Shrestha admitted the delay in repairs.
He said disputes over formation of local consumers’ committee had resulted in the delay.
A version of this article appears in print on December 31, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.