Ministry’s notice on roads a bombshell for DDC

Sahadev Karki

Lahan, April 1:

The Ministry of Local Development’s notice that an environment test of roads will

be conducted has stunned everyone. The notice has come at a time when the all-party meeting had decided to request for expanding the road network and macadamising the roads. “The all-party meeting already conveyed its consent to the district development committee over the issue of fixing of roads’ boundaries, including other processes, six months ago,” said Chandra Dev Kamati, a signatory to the agreement. “Although it is reported that the roads will be expanded and macadamised in the current fiscal year, the ministry’s notice demanding suggestions has stunned all,” he added.

The ministry published a notice in the Gorkhapatra daily on Tuesday, calling for suggestions within 15 days for primary environmental test. In the notice, the address where suggestions are to be sent is given as the district development committee office, with telephone number 520238 and fax number 033-520377. But these numbers are not in the name of the DDC, said an official at the DDC. Earlier, the DDC had been saying that under the proposed rural access reforms and decentralisation project, it would help construct the 23 km Siraha-Mirchaiya road, 18 km Zeromile-Bariyarpatti road and 18 km long Lahan-Thandi road this month.

The DDC has already started renovation of the roads which were damaged in the last rainy season. The cost of renovation of these three roads has been estimated at Rs 225 million. Of this, the DDC will foot 20 per cent while the project body will cover 80 per cent, a DDC source said. The all-party meeting, while amending the conditions of the donor agency — World Bank — had suggested that the roads should be reconstructed without a break in work.

The recently-convened district council has also made arrangements for funds in the coming fiscal year for renovation and macadamising the three roads.