To appeal SC order to pay compensation before beginning road expansion work
KATHMANDU, July 29: The government has directed the authorities concerned, including the contractor, to repair the Kalanki-Nagdhunga section of Tribhuvan Highway by August 28 at any cost. The six-kilometer road stretch, which is a major entry point into the Valley, has been in bad shape for the past few years, causing immense difficulties for road users.
After the Supreme Court last month ordered the government to expand the road section only after providing compensation to locals whose land is being acquired for the expansion project, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Management has decided to put the expansion work on hold for now. It is to repair the existing 16-meter road width by the next one month at any cost.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister KP Oli is seriously dissatisfied with Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Management Raghubir Mahaseth for failing to improve the state of roads in the Valley. This has prompted the ministry to take necessary measures to repair the Kalanki-Nagdhunga section, according to sources.
On July 11, Prime Minister Oli had summoned Mahaseth and strictly instructed him to repair various road sections in the Valley by August 28. Oli had expressed dissatisfaction with Mahaseth's inaction .
The ministry has already directed the Department of Roads to ask Sailung Construction, the company awarded the tender for the repair work four years ago, to expedite the work and blacktop the road section by August 28 at any cost, or face legal action.
Minister Mahaseth has made an inspection of the Kalanki-Nagdhunga section along with representatives of the Department of Roads and Sailung Construction .
After the inspection, Mahaseth said his ministry has already instructed the Department of Roads to clear the existing width of road for repairs by August 28. “If the road is not repaired by the next one month, the government will take necessary legal action against those responsible ,” he said, indicating representatives of the construction company.
Currently, the road section is full of potholes and becomes impassable during heavy rain. It has become a major cause of road accidents and huge traffic jams.
Mahaseth also said the ministry is moving to lodge an appeal against the Supreme Court's recent order to compensate locals whose land is being acquired before moving forward with the road expansion on the stretch. The government plans to expand the road stretch from 16 to 22 meters.“We are making preparations to lodge an appeal at the SC to allow the government to move forward with the road expansion while simultaneously paying compensation for the requisitioned land . In the meantime, we have decided to go ahead and repair the existing road stretch,” he added.