Lack of motorable bridge over Kaligandaki hampers tourists

PARBAT: A large number of tourists including devotees to the renowned Muktinath have been suffering due to lack of a motorable bridge over the Kaligandaki River along the Jomsom-Muktinath roadway.

The construction of the bridge began four years ago but it is still far from completion. The bridge to be completed within two years remains incomplete in five years due to the negligence of the contractors, locals said. BT and Jaya Om Nirman Sewa had won the contract for the bridge worth Rs. 41 million.

However, chief of the District Technical Office Rabindra Tiwari said that the work has been hampered due to repeated change in the design of the bridge and inclement weather conditions.

As a result, travelers are forced to cross over the river and take the vehicle stationed on the other side of the river. Though vehicles can pass through the river during the dry season, it is not possible during monsoon.

It is very unfortunate that the government has not given priority to constructing the bridge in such an important and sensitive location, local UML leader Dr Surya Pathak said.

The contractor companies have blamed it to the weather—snowfall and monsoon for the delay in the work on the bridge. However, the technical office Chief Tiwari said that the bridge is expected to be completed by the next fiscal year. “We have been pushing the contractors and the work will resume after the weather becomes favourable”, he said.