Mid-Hill Highway: tender of 19 bridges yet to be announced

Published On: January 2, 2023 12:05 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 2: Construction of 44 bridges along the Pushpalal (Mid-Hill) Highway is awaited when six months are left until the expiry of the latest extended deadline. 

According to the Highway Project Directorate, 93 bridges, out of 137, have been completed. It is said lack of sites to construct bridges is also the cause hindering the project's progress.

The project connects 26 districts in the mid-hill. According to project information officer Suraj Adhikari, they plan to announce a bid for the construction of 19 in the current fiscal year whereas the construction of 25 bridges nears the final.

“We plan to complete 18 bridges within the current fiscal as they are of just 20-25 meters, not much long.  If a responsible and dedicated developer is found, the structures will be completed within a season,” Adhikari said. “Though we have the deadline till coming mid-July, it seems munificent to complete the entire project.”

It may take time to complete the bridge over the Bheri river as it takes time to go for a new contract following the cancellation of the old contract, he said. Around one and a half decades into construction of the Highway, only 64 percent work has been completed so far. The Highway is considered to be the base for the prosperity of the Mid-Hill. The project completion deadline was six years.

The mapping of some sections of the Highway has yet to take place, thus further stranding the project. Earlier, the mapping took place near the Budhigandaki river. But, it halted after the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources made a plan to construct a reservoir at the location, said information officer Adhikari.

In the current FY, a contract should take place to blacktop 357 km of road, construct 18 bridges and build 134.5 km of road, said the project. The government in the fiscal year, 2069/70 BS declared the project as a national pride one.

The project expanding from Chiyobhanjyang of Panchthar district in the east to Jhulaghat of Baitadi district in the west is expected to ease transportation, build new cities and reduce traffics along the East West Highway.


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