A tractor-trailer stuck in mud in Diktel-Halesi road section of the Diktel road in this recent picture.(Daman Rai/Republica)
DOLAKHA, Aug 1: Landslide caused by the incessant rainfall has affected transportation along the Lamosanghu -Jiri road forcing vehicles plying along the road to push their way through prolonged traffic jams.
For the vehicles along this single lane road, traffic jam has been a common thing due to the ongoing upgrade to two lane road. However, this has been worsened by landslides along the road stretch in Lakuridanda VDC. The landslide has completely obstructed the movement of the vehicles, local authorities informed.
“The road stretch in Lakuridanda is very prone to landslide due to the steep slope,” Bel Bahadur Pandey, deputy superintendent of police (DSP) at Dolakha District Police, said. Efforts to clear the landslide debris have been affected in lack of excavators that could be stationed there to work through day and night. “As we don't have excavators that work through the night for removing the debris commuters have to wait until morning for present the debris to be removed,” Pandey added.
Elaborating on the reason why the excavators don't work through the night, Pandey said that excavator drivers have not been cooperating with the local authorities. “The drivers work according to their will. If they are not in mood, they deny cooperating,” Pandey said. “Due to driver's unwillingness, vehicles are forced to stay put.”
Locals further accused the excavator drivers of negligence in executing their duties. “Excavator drivers don't completely remove the landslide debris. Because of this, vehicles get stuck in the leftover debris which slows down the vehicular movement,” Indra Bahadur Shrestha, general secretary at FNCCI, Dolakha Chapter, said. “The traffic jam is mostly due to irresponsible work of the excavators.”
The incomplete debris removal has been particularly troublesome for the small vehicles as their tyre get stuck in the mud. “Small vehicles get thwarted in this slurry road but traveling through minibus or other big vehicles is relatively much easier through the area.”
Road section in Kharidhunga, Boch, Sakhiney, Biruwa and Khawa are some of the worst affected areas by landslides. In Sakhiney landslide debris that had obstructed the road during earthquake last year is yet to be completely removed.
Deepak Sapkota, engineer of the Lamsanghu -Jiri road expansion project, however claimed that they have been punctual in removing landslide debris around the clock. “If we receive information about a landslide we cooperate with the district police and get to work as soon as possible” Sapkota said. He claimed that their dozers and excavators remain standby throughout the clock for removing any reported landslide debris.
“Our dozers remain standby 24 hours. We have always got to the spot without delays whenever we have received notification of any landslide along the highway.” He said that during the season they have always tried to ease the traffic.
The 150 million rupees project is aimed to expand the road from Khadichaur to Dolakha's headquarter Charikot. An Indian construction company has been jointly working with a Nepali construction company, Sunaula Khimti, for expanding the Khadichaur to Mudey (25 Km) road section. And the Mude to Charikot (30Km) road is being upgraded by another Indian company, Sakil Haider in cooperation with Sunaula Khimti and Sankar Mali.
Police urges to use BP Highway as alternative
As a means to reduce congestion along the road, Dolakha District Police has recommended travelers to use the Dhulikhel BP highway for reaching to Charikot. The BP Highway connects to Charikot via Khurkot-Manthali route. “Traveling through the Manthali route is far easier for travelers,” Rajkumar Dulal, sub-inspector at Dolakha Traffic Police informed.
“Travelers who do not have an emergency and own their private vehicles can take the route. Although it's lengthier, driving through the way is far more convenient than traveling through Khadichaur.