Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (front row, 2nd from left) sits with a group of petitioners outside the CPN (Maoist Center) headquarters at Koteshwar, Kathmandu, on Monday. The group walked from Bara district on Friday to pressure the government to expedite the Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track Road and Second International Airport projects. Photo: Republica
BARA, Dec 5: A group of 60 youth, who had started a long walk to Kathmandu on Friday to pile pressure on the government for expediting the Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track Road and Second International Airport projects, has reached Kathmandu.
The group met with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday and handed over a token sum of Re 1 to kick-start the project. They also met with officials of concerned government agencies and requested them to start the two projects as soon as possible.
Ravi Raj Dangal, coordinator of a pressure group formed by the locals, told Republica that the group met with the Prime Minister and leaders of different political parties.
Nepal Army had already opened the track of the 760-kilometer expressway that links Kathmandu with Nijgadh three years ago. “But the government has not taken the project forward, raising doubts on the future of the projects,” Dangal added.
The road project shortens the distance between Kathmandu and the southern plains.
According to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the government has already spent Rs 1.64 billion in the fast-track road project. It has spent Rs 82 million to open the track. Similarly, the remaining amount was used to distribute compensation for land to be acquired for the project.
Ichhya Bahadur Wagle, a local trader, said that there has not been any progress in the road project since the track was opened three years ago. “We have no option but to put pressure on the government,” Wagle said, adding that the expressway would have been ready by now had the government showed seriousness toward the project. “One can reach Nijgadh in less than an hour once the project is complete.”
Similarly, the government has not showed any interest to construct Second International Airport in Gadimai Municipality-16 of Bara, said Pema Lama, a member of the pressure group formed by the locals.