Haphazard road construction puts settlements at risk

Bajura, July 28

Haphazard use of heavy equipment for road construction in Bajura has affected nearby human settlements negatively.

A total of 23 roads, including eight agriculture roads and three rural access roads, are now under-construction in the district.

According to the information provided by the District Technical Office, except for five roads, bulldozers are being used for all road construction works.

Bulldozers are being used to construct Martadi-Kolti, Dab-Khaptad tourism road, Pandusen-Jagannath, Martadi-Badimalika, Taprisera-Brahmatola, Wai-Jagannath, and other roads .

“Although road construction is a good thing, the work is being done without properly considering the geographical sensitivity of the area, and many human settlements are in peril,” said Tula Thapa, a local teacher.

At the Phalasain-Kuldevmandau road construction site, locals have complained of increased threat of landslides triggered by the projects.

Bulldozers are also being used to construct the Rajali-Amlis access road, and three other such roads with a budget of about Rs 30 million.

On his part, Technical Engineer Rohit Regmi and Local Development Officer Yuvraj Poudel conceded that problems were being created by random and unscientific road construction projects running across the district.

“Yes, the haphazard use of heavy equipment has brought problems, and elsewhere, national and community forests are being destroyed for road construction projects,” said the LDO.

In many cases, road construction projects violate the law of the land, which states that it is mandatory to conduct an environment impact assessment before launching any road construction project.

The DDC, which is funding some of the roads, however, tried to defend the breach of rule, citing lack of fund to finance the mandatory assessment.