August 22, 2021 01:06 PM NPT
By: Arjun Oli
NEPALGUNJ, August 22: The blacktop of the bypass road connecting Piprahawa Chowk in Ganapur of Banke to Nahar Chowk in Khajura has started to come off within a month. Although the Janaki Rural Municipality Office is supposed to pave a total of 7.2 km of the road, it built only a 2 km long section of the road last June.
According to the locals, the asphalt of the blacktopped road being constructed by the contractor company Amar Sisne JV started coming off within a month. “As the road was narrow and the contractor company used poor quality construction materials, the road was damaged within a month of blacktopping,” said Vijay Singh Chauhan, a local resident. “We were very happy when the road was under construction. However, the black pavement seems to be just for a showoff as it didn't even last well for a month,” he added.
The rural municipality had listed the road construction as one of their big projects. In the first phase, the municipality spent about Rs 80 million for gravelling and construction of drainage and culverts along and on the road last year. In the second phase, a contract agreement was signed with the contractor at a cost of Rs 46.151 million, including VAT just for blacktopping the road. The agreement signed on 7 February, 2021 will come to an end on 13 February, 2022.
Locals say that the road has been damaged at 10-12 different places. Former chairperson of Ganapur VDC, Dukhiram Lonia, said that the bypass road connecting Piprahawa to Khajura has been damaged even before it could be completed. “The road is already damaged. Local people here don’t even know about the estimated budget for the construction of this road,” he said. “We strongly condemn this. Whether the culprit is the contractor or a people's representative, they should be punished.”
On the other hand, Janaki Rural Municipality Chairperson Ram Niwas Yadav said that to prevent negligence, they have been monitoring the road construction from time to time. According to him, since the construction is completed, the road from Piprahawa Chowk to Khajura Canal Chowk can be easily accessed. “We are closely monitoring the construction of the road. Till now, there is no problem,” he said.
The road connected to the canal of the Sikta Irrigation Project is narrow. Hundreds of cargo tippers, trucks, and tractors run on the road daily. Small and big industries are operating around the same road. Local Nepali Congress leader Chhabban Khan said that the condition of the road has become critical as the authorities concerned didn’t build a good road that could handle the pressure of the traffic and that they used substandard building materials.
Prajesh Ale, chief engineer of the rural municipality informed Republica that a 5-km section of the road is yet to be built. “A total of 7.2 km long road should be blacktopped. We have blacktopped about two kilometers of the road so far,” he said. According to Engineer Ale, as per the agreement, the contractor company should blacktop the 4 meter wide road to a depth of 2 inches. “The contractor has done the work as per the agreement. If there is any problem before the completion, the contractor should fix that,” he added.
However, locals insist that the contractor did not work as per the agreement. They are furious about how corruption by the authorities concerned led to the early damage of the road. Jagdish Prasad Harijan, a local from Ganapur, said, “There was extreme negligence while the road was being pitched and we can clearly see it now. Just for some commission, these people have made the lives of local people miserable.”