The six-lane road in front of Bhairahawa Bus Station has become damaged due to the movement of heavy cargo vehicles. Photo: Mohammad Habib/Republica
BHAIRAHAWA, Nov 18: The blacktopping in front of Bhairahawa Bus Station along the Belahiya-Butwal road section, a vital trade route of the country, has started to wear off even before the completion of the road widening project, thanks to the sub-standard work of the construction company.
Currently, Sharma Diwa Kanchanjanga JV has been awarded the project of upgrading the 24-kilometer road. This national pride project has been badly affected with the caving in and cracking of some sections of the road.
As per the initial agreement signed in 2010, this project should have been completed in three years. However, nine different companies worked during different period but still could not complete the project in eight years. Contractors have intensified work to complete the project before April 2019 but the work done in haste has resulted in further loss. Sadly, the responsible authority has remained mum despite being aware about the negligence on part of the contractors. This ultimately has compelled the locals to bear the brunt.
Belahiya-Butwal Trade Road Expansion Project (BBTREP) claimed that the movement of heavy cargo vehicles and trucks along the road has led to the damage. The cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 5.86 billion. After the completion, the road will be 10.50 meters wide with six lanes. There will be a green zone in the middle along with dividers.
Meanwhile, Nabin Sharma, engineer of Sharma Diwa Kanchanjunga JV, claimed that there has been no negligence in the construction of the road.
"The movement of heavy vehicles is the reason behind the cracks," said engineer Sharma.
It has been five years since the first deadline of the project expired.
According to the contractor company, it was clearly mentioned in the contract that the company would have to repair the road if any kinds of damage is witnessed within a year of construction. The contract states that if the road is damaged within a year of construction, it will have to be repaired by the contractor itself. Jibendra Mishra, chief of BBTREP, laments that they have not been able to repair the road due to budget crunch.
Project Chief Mishra assured that the road would be repaired within the next few weeks. Inspector Ved Paudel of the District Traffic Police Office, Rupandehi also blamed overloaded vehicles for the deteriorating condition of the road.
Meanwhile, passengers and pedestrians have urged the responsible authorities to repair the road on time to prevent further damages. Locals have stressed that the movement of vehicles should be regulated and monitored to make sure that the huge budget poured by the government on road projects won't be wasted.
Despite being assured by the project, the locals are still doubtful if the project will be completed by April.