Birgunj, November 6
Years after the project was launched, there has been little progress in the construction of the proposed postal highway project.
Dispute related to compensation to landowners and inordinate delay in the construction of bridges on the highway have been delaying project work. Bridges over half-a-dozen bridges at Tilawe, Thute, Aruwa and Bhakuwa in districts such as Bara, Parsa, Rautahat and Chitwan are yet to be constructed.
The 1792-km road with 125 bridges will link some 20 districts in the plains. “Work on construction of the 53 km of road from Birgunj’s Lakshumanawa Chowk to Thori is yet to begin, while 20 per cent of work of the 22km road from Lakshumanawa chowk to Bariyapur through Bara’s Kalaiya has finished in Parsa so far,” said Parsa-based project office chief Anuthalal Patel.
The highway seen as the major lifeline of the Madhes by experts is said to be vital for farmers who would then have easy access to the market to sell their agricultural produce.
The project had seen initial hitch after an India-based Bhisawa Construction, which was responsible for the construction of 119km stretch of the highway falling in Parsa and Bara districts, left the work about five years ago.
Though the Nepal government then took over the construction of the road and brides with the aim of completing the project within 30 months, seven months have passed and work related to the highway and road construction has yet to gain pace. The project will be built with the grant of the Indian government and additional investment of the government of Nepal.
A version of this article appears in print on November 07, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.