THT 10 years ago: Govt urged to construct Gwarko-Nepalthok highway

Lalitpur, June 9, 2006

Locals living in the outskirts of Lalitpur have demanded that the government restart the construction of the 35-km alternative highway joining Gwarko of Lalitpur with Nepalthok of Kavre.

According to Madhav Paudel, coordinator of the Gwarko Lamatar Panauti Nepalthok Alternative Highway Development Committee, the construction of the highway began in 1954 and a motorable road from Gwarko to Panauti was built but it is yet to be complete.

After revival of democracy in 1990, the roads connecting Gwarko, Lubhoo, Lamatar, Panauti and Namobuddha were reopened, but maintenance work could not be continued due to lack of funds. “This alternative highway will shorten the distance between Nepalthok and Kathmandu.

At present, the 70-km section of the Arniko highway is the only route that connects the two places,” said Paudel. The completion of the highway would reduce fuel consumption, save time for travellers and lessen traffic on the Arniko highway., said Paudel.

He said the highway is also important because it connects the rural parts of Lalitpur to Kathmandu and its neighbouring districts. People will get access to markets to sell their agriculture products, which will uplift the socio-economic condition of people living in the rural areas, he said.

In this connection, the committee, which includes representatives from the seven political parties and civil society, plans to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on June 11 to press the government to carry out the remaining work.

Allow UN to monitor truce code: Adhikari

Rupandehi, June 9, 2006

Standing Committee member of the CPN-UML, Bharat Mohan Adhikari, today said the United Nations should be allowed to monitor the ceasefire code of conduct signed by the government and the Maoists to make the peace talks more result-oriented.

Addressing a press meet organised by the Rupandehi chapter of Press Chautari Nepal in Butwal, Adhikari said: “The UN will be ready to take on the responsibility of monitoring the 25-point code of conduct if the government allows it.” He said good management in the country was pivotal in the transitional phase.

Welcoming Maoist chairman Prachanda’s statement that his party was eager to join the government, Adhikari demanded an interim statute to include the rebels in the affairs of the state.

He was of the view that the interim statute was also needed to find a way out of the crisis facing the country. He said it could work till elections to a constituent assembly are held.

He said the assembly elections must be held within the next one-and-half years.