Laborers work in Gaighat-Beltar section of Madan Bhandari Highway. PHOTO: MAHESHWAR CHAMLING RAI/REPUBLICA
UDAYPUR, Nov 12: Triyuga Municipality has decided to increase width of the Gaighat Bazaar section of under-construction Madan Bhandari Highway to 25 meters.
The decision, however, has left the locals surprised and panicked. The meeting decided to keep width of the road to 25 meters earlier in September. The highway project office is now requesting locals to clear the right of way of the project by demolishing their structures. The project office has told locals that the municipality will bulldoze the structures if they are not cleared soon.
If the width of the road will be fixed 25 meters as decided by the municipality, about three dozen structures in Gaighat Bazaar will have to be demolished, say locals. They have demanded that the municipality keep the width at 18 meters as per the highway project's office and blacktop the road at the earliest.
According to the Madan Bhandari Highway Eastern Regional Office, the width of the road in Gaighat Bazaar section is 18 meters with drainage. The width is 19 to 21 meters in other areas. Though the contractor company has been asked to work as per the estimates of the highway project office, municipality has now invited troubles by extending width to 25 meters, say locals.
Divisional Engineer Lali Jung Khanal said that the highway project office has forwarded the municipality's letter to increased width of road to 25 meters to Department of Roads through the concerned ministry. "If the width is increased as decided by the ministry, the estimated cost of the project will also need to be reworked," Khanal said, adding: "The ministry might have issued the notice to clear structures on the project's right of way."
He added: "Regardless of what the municipality says, we will build a 14-meter blacktopped road with 2-meter drainage in each side in Gaighat Bazaar section.” He added that blacktopping work will be completed by mid-February.
Laxman Bikram Thapa, chief administrative officer of Triyuga Municipality, said that the public notice regarding decision to increase width of the road was issued as per the decision taken by the municipality's executive council meeting. "The road in the district headquarters needs to be safe, managed and wide. It is our responsibility to implement decision taken by the executive council," he added.
Similarly, Mayor Baldev Chaudhary said the decision was taken to make the road in market area wide, safe and managed.