Birgunj, December 24
Disputes over compensation, lack of construction materials, and mismanagement of electric poles have hindered upgradation of 27 km-long Pathalaiya-Birgunj road section in Parsa.
The project to upgr1ade the road section that connects Pathalaiya to Birgunj-based ICP Contact Office under the Commercial Road Upgradation Programme of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport is estimated to be completed in two years with an investment of around Rs 4.25 billion.
As per the plan, the road, to be built in six phases, will be upgraded into a four-lane road with footpaths three metres wide on each side. However, disputes over compensation surfaced during works on the one km section of the 4 km stretch from Parsa, Harapatagunj to ICP.
“Efforts to widen the 30 metres’ wide road, which meets postal road standards, to 50 metres has led to disputes with locals regarding compensation,” said Engineer Karnasingh Thapa, adding that less than 10 per cent work of the entire project has been completed so far.
Two construction companies — Pappu Construction Company and Lumbini Construction Company — won the contract and are working on the disputed road section. “Within two months of initiating the project, 20 per cent of the works of this phase was completed,” said Director of Pappu Construction Sumit Rauniya, adding that they can complete the project in time if the disputes and other hindrances are cleared.
Parsa Chief District Officer Keshavraj Ghimire said attempts were on to settle the disputes.
“Landowners whose homes are within 50 metres of the road are demanding more compensation, although they had been provided with certain compensation from the postal road project earlier,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on December 25, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.