Facelift hope for Surkhet-Dailekh road

Kathmandu, October 1:

The Department of Roads (DoR) is all set to upgrade the Surkhet-Dailekh road section in the mid-western region after Tihar.

The 67-km road linking Dailekh to the mid-western hub of Surkhet is in a miserable condition ever since it was opened in 1993. The road is so narrow that vehicles have hard times crossing numerous bends on it. The condition of road is so worse that vehicles stuck in muddy potholes can only be taken out with great difficulty. The road is the shortest route for commuters heading to Jajarkot and Kalikot.

Dailekh folks blamed the political leadership in the district for not raising the issue before the government agencies concerned. Bishnu Sharma, Dailekh president of Federation of Nepali Journalists, said the road was never upgraded ever since it was built. “The people’s representatives also couldn’t take the issue to the central level,” he added.

Talking to this daily today, director general of DoR Tulsi Prasad Sitaula said the DoR had decided to upgrade the road by dividing it into two sections. “We will carry out repair works on Surkhet-Siyakot (44 km) section while the lower Dungeshwor-Dailekh (23 km) section will be otta-sealed.”

Sitaula said the Indian government and the World Bank had provided some funds for the construction of roads in different parts of the country.

Dileep Kumar Pokharel, senior divisional engineer at DoR, said the Indian government had provided $100 million for the repair and construction of roads in different parts of the country. “We will invest $50 million to construct and fix eight roads; one of them being the Surkhet-Siyakot section,” he added.

According to Sitaula, the World Bank will provide a grant of $42 million to fix the road section from lower Dungeshwor to Dailekh.

Sitaula clarified that the road could not be improved on time because of the lack of budget.

“We need a big budget to improve the condition of roads. Now, that we have found the donors, the road will be otta-sealed within two years,” he added.