Bad road a challenge to Visit Lumbini campaign

Published On: May 27, 2019 02:30 AM NPT By: MOHAMMAD HABIB

Officials blame shortage of raw materials for delay in upgradation of Bhairahawa-Taulihawa road

BHAIRAHAWA, May 27: The Province 5 government launched Visit Lumbini Year 2076 last week. But a major road to reach Lumbini -- the birthplace of Buddha -- is in dire straits.

While travelers are facing lot of difficulty to reach the UNESCO World Heritage site, the government is not taking concrete measures to expedite road upgradation works. Worse is, even government officials do not know when the project will be completed as the expansion work has been affected by shortage of raw materials.

Road expansion works began in early 2107 with completion deadline of January, 2019. However, with only eight months remaining, the project has achieved only 35 percent work progress.

The 41-kilometer road is being expanded with the support of South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Roads Improvement Project.

According to project officials, works of blacktopping a 6-kilometer section has just begun. Base works and work on culverts along the road are going on in most of the places.

Project Manager Pradip Raj Shakya blamed lack of sand and aggregates for the delay. "We have repeatedly requested local units to arrange necessary raw materials for the project. But our pleas have gone unheard,” said Shakya.

Movement of heavy goods carrying raw materials or finished goods of number of industries based in the Lumbini Industrial Corridor is also make things difficult for tourists. Poor condition of the road is also behind rising road accidents, say traffic police officials.

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