Damak on a bridge-building spree

Published On: September 16, 2019 10:23 AM NPT By: Yuvraj Bibas

Half a dozen bridges being built to connect Damak with Ilam, Morang, and other parts of Jhapa

DAMAK, Sept 16: As many as half a dozen bridges are being built to connect Damak to other districts as well as other parts of Jhapa district.

The bridges are being built over Ratuwa and Mawa rivers. Ratuwa River forms the eastern and southern boundary of this eastern town, while Mawa River flows west of Damak. Damak is expected to be a commercial hub in southern part of Jhapa as these bridges will establish easy connectivity with northern Morang and southern Ilam. Along with construction of bridges, river training work is also going on simultaneously.

Foundation stones for these bridges were laid during Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli's previous term. Locals of Chulachuli of Ilam, for example, will now have easy access to Damak. Damak has remained a center for health, education and jobs for people of Chulachuli since years. They were facing problems, especially during monsoon, due to lack of bridge. 

Om Narayan Khanal, who looks after construction of Ratuwa Bridge, said the bridge will provide respite to locals of Chulachuli who have been suffering due to lack of bridge since long. "People are facing difficulty to go to hospital and schools, among others, during heavy rains. Very soon, it will be things of past," he added. Khanal added that locals of Chulachuli are piling pressure on contractors to complete the project on time. "The bridge is expected to be ready this year," he added.

Construction of the 200-meter bridge over Ratuwa River is at the final stage. Elite Construction Company Pvt Ltd is building the project worth Rs 156.82 million. The bridge was supposed to be completed in 36 months. But as the bridge couldn't be completed within the stipulated timeframe, the contractor has got extension till February last year.

Raju Bidari, a representative of Elite Construction, told Republica that the project suffered due to disturbances by the locals. "We have completed 90 percent of the works so far. We are hopeful of completing the project within the new deadline," he added. Damak-Rajghat, Damak-Gauradaha and Damak-Kamal bridges are in different phases of construction. Another bridge connecting Setumar of Damak with Baluwathan is also under construction. Sharma Aanak JV is building the project worth Rs 335.2 million. 

Madan Adhikari, former ward chief Madan Adhikari said, the bridge will benefit locals of Maharanijhoda, Kohobora, and Khajurgachi. 

Similarly, Sharma-Apex JV is building another bridge that Baluawathan of Gauradaha with Urlabari of Morang. The estimated cost of the bridge is Rs 502 million.

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