Heavy vehicles on Arniko Highway in this recent photo.
KAVRE, July 25: A section of the Araniko Highway that connects the Kathmandu Valley with China has developed innumerable cracks within a year after blacktopping.
Division Road Office (DRO), Bhaktapur had spent Rs 150 million for blacktopping the 15 km road section from Dhulikhel to Tamaghat of Kavre in the last fiscal year. The division had awarded the project to a contractor after a bidding process.
"The road is full of cracks and potholes. It has become accident prone these days. They blacktopped it just a year ago," said Suraj KC, a driver along the route. "Until sometime ago, it was quite smooth."
According to Bel Bahadur Bhujel, Division Chief of the DRO, Bhaktapur, the road has worn out because of overloaded vehicles and it has nothing to do with the quality of construction.
"Vehicles far heavier than their capacity ply the road. Given such a situation, it is natural for the blacktopped layer to wear off," said Bhujel.
Bhujel added that the road section will be repaired by the same contractor.
“That won't be a problem as the contractor's deadline for repairing has not expired yet. Repairing will be done soon," he assured.
The road extensively used by trippers that carry sand and aggregate. And there is no regulation to check how many vehicles and of what capacity can travel through the road.
According to an engineer with the Department of Roads, Ram Chandra Phuyal, the damages seen on the road will be repaired instantly. But in the lack of regulatory mechanism, the repair might not last long.
He stated that around 800 meters of the road is fully damaged while others are slightly damaged. "Repairing will be done as soon as the monsoon ends. We have already written letter to the contractor company," Phuyal said.
The contractor was supposed to completely peel off five kilometers of the road and construct it anew. However, the locals obstructed the process due to excessive dust pollution. Following this, the contractor blacktopped 12 kilometers of the old layer.