Three decades on, Sahajpur-Bogtan road still incomplete

Dipayal, October 23

Work on construction of the road from Kailali’s Sahajpur to Doti’s Bogtan, a 108 kilometres’ stretch, began thirty years ago, but even today, only an 18-kilometre stretch of the road section is completed.

Even the constructed road stretch is difficult to ply during the monsoons. The project was started to connect Kailali’s five VDCs and Doti’s seventeen VDCs with the regional headquarters Dipayal.

Earlier, the project had figured in the list of national projects with the establishment of a separate office. But, after the project was removed from the list, it has been moving ahead at snail’s pace.

Chief of the Division Road Office Dipayal Sunilbabu Basnet said that the delay in preparing environmental impact assessment report had led to the freezing of the meagre budget allocated for the project. The road office, however, said that the environmental impact assessment had reached the final stage recently.

The under construction road is the oldest road in Doti. A local Krishna Bahadur Chand of Lanakedareswor VDC complained that political leaders only prioritised the road project at the election time, and neglected it once the polls were over.

Chand said constructing the road would benefit a large number of people from Kailali and Doti. He said that it was wrong to blame the delay on environmental impact assessment. The uncertainty over the road project has disappointed the locals.

Senior Agriculture Development Officer Tapendra Shah at the District Agriculture Development Office, Doti said farmers from Bogatan could profit massively if the track of the road was opened.

The road passes through pocket areas of food crops in Doti and Kailali. Local Dhirgha Bam of Barchhain VDC said even the opened track was not suitable for vehicular movement.

Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ramesh Lekhak recently assured the locals that the road would be completed.