MAKWANPUR, Feb 3: It was an unusual day when Dor Mani Poudel, Chief Minister of Province 3, officially inaugurated the track connecting Chainpur to Manahari, a section of East-West Highway, on Thursday. The construction of the 7-kilometer-long track had taken an extraordinary 41 years to complete.
Poudel was welcomed with flower garlands and music of Panchai Baja – a traditional Nepali musical instrument set, upon his arrival in Chainpur for the inauguration event.
The opening of the track was started in 1978 by District Development Committee under People Development Program, under late King Birendra, aiming to connect the Chepang settlement in the district to the highway.
However, the initial budget allocated for the project was, reportedly, exhausted in providing relief to people affected from landslide in the region, and the budget was later scrapped in 2004 as the project failed to take off. During the span of sixteen years -- from 1978 to 2004 -- a total of Rs 200 million was allocated for the project.
Later on, the Raksirang Rural Municipality, in its first meeting, decided to focus primarily on completing the decades-long road project. And budget for it was allocated forthwith.
At first, the project was taken up by the local consumer committee. However, due to delay in work, the project was later handed over to company through tender process.
Poudel, addressing the crowd, said, that the provincial government would provide further support to upgrade the newly inaugurated track. He also praised the work ethic of Poojan Constructions – the company which had undertaken the project.
The company, which had promised to complete the track by the end of Fiscal Year 2018/19, managed to expedite its operations and completed the project within three months. The company had agreed to sign the contract for Rs 10 million, and was presented with an additional Rs 50,000 for their exemplary work after successfully handing over the project.
In the last fiscal year, the track construction work was awarded to two consumer committee group where they were given Rs 5 million each. After the consumer committees were unable to work effectively, they handed Rs 2.9 million and Rs 3.9 million back to the rural municipality.
Similarly, a member of provincial parliament, Rajkumar Malla, said that the province would do its best to complete the work to blacktop the road as soon as possible and extradite the development of the region.
Officials at the rural municipality said that the road will be a milestone for the development of the region.
With the road section coming into operation, the local Tamang and Chepang communities will be saved from traveling a 25-kilometer-long treacherous road to get to the district headquarter.