Reconstruction of historic Churiyamai tunnel has begun in Hetauda.

Bagmati Province Chief Minister Dormani Poudel inaugurated the reconstruction work of the 104-year-old tunnel located in Hetauda Sub-metropolitan City at a ceremony today.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM described the inauguration as the first step towards conserving history.

"Aside from our apparent motive to protect our history, we also look to promote tourism by reconstructing the tunnel built more than a hundred years ago," said CM Poudel.

CM Poudel further said it was the responsibility of the present generation to preserve the heritages handed down by their ancestors. He expressed the province government's commitment to preserving and promote the historical heritages.

Further, he said the conservation of such heritages would unleash development in the province.

Of the originally 500-km long tunnel built in 1917, the provincial government is now reconstructing a 198-km tunnel that falls on the East-West Highway.

Expressing his commitment to resume the tunnel once its reconstruction was completed, the chief minister urged the contractor not to dilly-dally with the construction process and the locals to be vigilant in a bid to deter carelessness in the reconstruction work.

Physical Infrastructure Minister Rameshwor Fuyal of the province also spoke on the occasion and reiterated that the government was commitment to conserving every heritage of the country. He also expressed his confidence that the government in Province 2 would collaborate with the Province 3 government for the reconstruction project that is located on the border between the two provinces.

District Coordination Committee Makawanpur chief Raghunath Khulal thanked the provincial government for starting the reconstruction work and working towards developing the site as a tourism spot.

Mountain Infra Company Limited has been entrusted with the tunnel reconstruction for 33.613 million rupees. The tunnel to be reconstructed would be 198 metres long, 2.5 metres wide and three metres high. The Department for Archaeology has also coordinated in the reconstruction work.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 30 2021, of The Himalayan Times.