Construction of overhead bridge in New Baneshwor completed two years later than scheduled deadline

Published On: October 24, 2021 11:23 AM NPT By: Himal Lamsal

KATHMANDU, Oct 24: The construction of an overhead truss bridge at Baneshwor Chowk, a busy road section in the capital city, has been completed almost two years after the scheduled deadline. The bridge came into operation almost two years behind schedule due to the delay by the contractor company and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the operation of the bridge, it has become easy for the general public to cross the road at Baneshwor Chowk. Nowadays, pedestrians have started crossing the road through the newly-constructed overhead bridge. 

Vehicles have been able to move freely at Baneshwor Chowk as the pedestrians use the overhead bridge. As per the contract agreement, the construction of the overhead bridge was supposed to be completed on the busy road section in Baneshwor and Koteshwor Chowk by mid-January 2020.

Pawan Prakriti JV was awarded the contract to build the bridge at Baneshwor and Koteshwor Chowk. The contract agreement for Baneshwor Chowk was worth Rs 20.4 million. The length of the bridge is 38 meters.

A survey conducted by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, City Planning Commission two years ago showed that 5,862 pedestrians crossed the road at Baneshwor Chowk during the morning peak hour. The study illustrated that 6,474 people crossed the road from Baneshwor Chowk during the peak hours in the evening. 

But with the increase in population in the valley compared to two years ago, it is estimated that the number of passengers crossing the road from Baneshwor's Zebra Cross has also increased. Although the Road Division Office Kathmandu has not formally brought the bridge into operation, ordinary people have been using the bridge since before Dashain.

Kuber Nepali, the then chief of the Road Division Office, who had just been transferred from Kathmandu, said that the overhead truss bridge in Baneshwor came into operation before Dashain. "The construction of the bridge was delayed by almost two years due to the delay of the contractor company and COVID-19 pandemic," he said. “There were some problems as the design of the bridge was changed and the employees at the steel industry were infected with the COVID-19.”

Chief of the Kathmandu Road Division Office Narayan Niure, who has just assumed the office, said that only minor works of the overhead truss bridge in Baneshwor are left to be completed. “The formal inauguration of the bridge has not been done. However, ordinary people have already started using it,” he said. “Painting of the bridge and other general works are still pending. We will finish it in a few days.”

A plan was put forward to build an overhead bridge at Baneshwor and Koteshwor Chowk in April, 2019 to make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road due to heavy traffic in the Kathmandu Valley. However, the bridge was constructed only at Baneshwor Chowk almost two years after the expiration of the time stipulated in the contract agreement under the pretext of COVID-19.

The contractor company had laid the foundation stone and pillars of the bridge at Baneshwor Chowk and left the construction work unfinished. However, the contractor started installing steel trusses during the second wave of COVID-19. The bridge was completed in the last week of October due to the delay of the steel industry.

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