UDAYPUR, March 9: Blacktopping work at the The Madan Bhandari Highway, which connects Dharan, Chatara, Gaighat, Katari, Sindhuli and Hetauda, and touches all eight local units of Udaypur district, is seeing rapid progress of late.
In the past one month, blacktopping work on a 7-kilometer stretch of the road – a national pride project – was completed. The road project had initially commenced from Gaighat, the district headquarters.
The 1-kilometer section from Gaighat to Chuhade remains to be blacktopped, which will be completed in the coming week, after which work on road section east of Gaighat will progress.
In the first phase of the project, construction commenced in two road sections. Blacktopping from Primary Eye Care Center in Gaighat-Chuhade road section to Rajabaas, and from Kalikhola to Chuhade has been completed, while the 1-kilometer section between Saraswati Khola and Shahi Khola awaits blacktopping.
The highway project office in Gaighat informed that blacktopping along the rivers was halted because concrete bridges were still under construction across the rivers.
According to Divisional Engineer Lali Jung Khanal, priority was given to market areas along Gaighat-Chuhade road section.
"Immediately after completion or work in this area, Gaighat-Beltar road section will be blacktopped," Khanal said. He also stated that they have reached the last stage of construction of the 120-kilometer-long three-spam bridge across Shahi Khola and 80-kilometer-long two-spam bridge across Saraswati Khola.
Khanal said that approximately 80 percent of the work has been completed and that construction work will be over by mid-March, after which further blacktopping in the region will commence.
Contractor companies have been instructed to complete construction as soon as possible. Ninety percent of the work along Hokse and Kauwai of Gaighat-Nepaltar road section has also finished.
The Nadaha-Kanchanpur section, part of the 44-kilometer-long road from Dharan to Chaudandigadhi has already been blacktopped with funding from the Asian Development Bank. Project Engineer Govinda Dumaru said that 29-kilometer road section from Basaha to Gaighat will be completed within this year. He said that the aim was to complete work in the Gaighat-Chuhade road section within mid-March and then immediately begin blacktopping along Gaighat-Basaha road section.
While the major bridge along Gaighat-Basaha road section was constructed almost two years ago, five remaining smaller bridges and culverts have also reached the final stage of construction. After completion of the works of Madan Bhandari Highway, the distance from Gaighat to Dharan and Gaighat to Katari will be shortened by halves. In the absence of the highway, Gaighat and Katari were linked by a 90-kilometer road that passed through neighboring districts Siraha and Saptari. Through the alternative highway, the distance between Gaighat and Dharan will be only 73 kilometers, and between Gaighat and Katari will be 50 kilometers.