Roads alternative to Narayangadh-Muglin route, Prithvi Highway to be built

CHITWAN: Two roads alternative to the Narayangadh-Muglin road section and the Prithvi Highway will be built with the investment from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

One of the alternative routes will continue side by side the current main road from Malekhu of Dhading to Bhandara of Chitwan, while another will extend to Tanahun from Muglin.

The track of the alternative road from Chitwan to the Muglin has been opened.

A Korean company has been picked to carry out on site study for the construction of these two roads, according to the Department of Roads' (DoR) Project Directorate (ADB) Director Keshab Kumar Sharma. The Korean team would also study seven various roads and three bridges in the country. The DoR would sign a contract with the Korean company next week, he said.

A detail report on the estimation with the differences in expenditures on constructing four-lane and two-lane Malekhu-Bhandara road, construction of road tunnel, in addition, has been sought, Director Sharma said. The width of the road would be determined after carrying out research on the report, said Sharma, who is also the superintendent engineer at the DoR.

The alternative of the Narayangadh-Muglin road section, Muglin-Devghat-Gaindakot road will have to be constructed on the base of the hills along the opposite banks of Trishuli River, Engineer Sharma said. Although the road will be wider and 70 kilometres shorter in comparison to the current route, it would be difficult to carry out the construction regarding the geological condition of the locality, he said.

Director Sharma said that ADB has committed the DoR to lend assistance of Rs 50 billiion for the construction of roads and bridges. A process to sign the agreement with the bank is underway, he said.

The alternative route has been initiated as a result of the increasing traffic congestion along the Narayangadh-Muglin road section. Around 8,000 to 10,000 vehicles ply the road on a daily basis, according to Inspector Santosh Pant at the District Traffic Police Office, Chitwan. In five years, the number of vehicles along the route could scale up to 15,000, beyond the capacity of the road, the inspector said.