Fuel crisis brings development works to grinding halt

PHIDIM: Development projects including projects of national pride have come to a grinding halt owing to lack of petroleum products, in various districts of eastern Nepal.

As excavators, dodgers and tippers could not operate for want of fuel, the development projects including Mid-Hill Highway and Kabeli B Hydro Projects have stopped construction works.

Blacktopping the Jorsal-Majhitar section of the Pushpalal (Mid-Hill) Highway has been halted for last one month.

The road section is set to be completely blacktopped by mid-March next year, according to Site In-Charge Shankar Thapa of Yakthunghang Construction Service.

But, it is very difficult to meet the deadline due to obstructions in supplies and protests in Tarai-Madhes, according to him.

Other than various road projects, construction works at 14.9-MW Hewa A Hydro Project, 22-MW Lower Hewa Hydro Project and five-MW Phawakhola Hydro Project have stopped.

Besides non-operation of transport vehicles, obstructions at Indo-Nepal border points have caused shortage of construction materials including iron rods and cements, according to construction workers.

Central Vice-President of Federation of Contractors' Association of Nepal, Tej Kumar Kurumbang, said the pace of overall national development has been slowed down due to the Tarai turmoil and fuel shortage.