Koshi Highway falling apart

Dhankuta, September 3

Increasing encroachment on the roadside together with vehicles plying beyond the capacity of the road have deteriorated the condition of Koshi Highway.

As per the Public Road Act 1974, cargo vehicles of up to 10 tonnes are allowed on the road. Similarly, the road act envisions construction of houses well outside the road area and construction of access roads only after permission from the respective body. However, hardly any of these provisions are followed.

As for encroachment of the roadside a number of houses and other structures have cropped up along the road from Dharan to Dhankuta, Bhojpur, Tehrathum and Sankhuwasabha districts. This trend is increasing.

Regarding random construction of access roads, some 22 such roads have been constructed linking the highway along the Bhedetar-Hile road section alone, that too without the mandatory permission of the road department. Besides, vehicles in excess of the capacity of the road are seen plying without restriction here.

Road Division Office Dhankuta Engineer Sachitan and Yadav blamed the locals. “We’ve reminded the locals to remove construction materials dumped on the road and admonished them to stop construction of access roads without our permission, but the locals seem to have ignored our notice,” he said.

The highway considered a model one in the nation was constructed with the support of the UK government and then handed over to the government 33 years ago.