Saptari’s first ever blacktopped road in dilapidated condition

Rajbiraj, May 21

The first ever blacktopped road in Saptari district that links Rajbiraj to Kunauli on the Indian side of the border has been in a bad shape for a long time now, thanks to the lack of regular maintenance.

Saptari Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Arun Kumar Pradhan said that travel on the derelict road has been difficult. “It has been almost two decades since the road was damaged, but no initiatives has been taken so far to repair it. This has affected transportation of goods through this road, especially from the customs office near Kunauli,” he said.

Local entrepreneurs have also complained about extra expenses they are forced to bear to export goods from an alternative route.

“As the condition of the road is very bad and bringing goods along it is difficult, we have to use Biratnagar-Jogbani route to bring in raw materials, goods, and commodities, which increases our expenses,” said Pradhan. He added that the dilapidated condition of the 11 km road has particularly affected industries in the Gajendra Narayan Singh Industrial Estate.

Apart from adversely affecting commerce, the road has also affected tourism in the district. Dineshwor Mishra, former chairperson of the adjoining Tilathi VDC, said, “Although we have the famous Chinnamasta Bhagawati temple in our district revered by people from all over Nepal and India, few tourists brave the difficult road to this place.”

Mishra also complained about false promises made by political leaders to repair the road. “Politicians come to us and make all kinds of promises, but once elected they don’t even show up,” he said.