Karnali locals upbeat as construction of roads connecting with Tibet make headway

Published On: August 19, 2019 05:00 AM NPT By: GANESH BISHU

BIRENDRANAGAR, Aug 19: As part of its initiation to connect Karnali with Tibet, the provincial government is working to open three new roads in the region.

Three of the major road section that top the provincial government's agenda are Gamgadi–Nakchalagna, Simikot–Halsa and Dunai-Marimlapasa road. These roads will connect Mugu, Humla and Dolpa to Tibet. And once completed, these roads are expected to change the economy of the region dramatically.

The roads are not only going to boost imports from China, but they will also open gates of a big market for our domestic products. Considering the potential, people have been desperately waiting for the completion of road projects. -Prakash Jwala, Minister for Economic Affairs and Planning, Karnali province.


Officials say that planning was underway to start the construction of these roads. The Hilsa-Simikot road is expected to come into operation before the festival of Dashain.

"We have opened some new road tracks, and some are under process of being opened. This is going to be a milestone for the development of this entire region, including Province 5, Karnali and Sudurpaschim," said Prakash Jwala, minister for Economic Affairs and Planning of the Karnali province. "Feeder roads will also improve the movement of people and commerce. But the three major roads will pave the way for easy import and export between China and this part of the country," he added.

Minister Jwala stated that boost in trade with China of Sudrpaschim and the Karnali province would greatly impact the economy of the western part of the country. He said that the region has a lot more to export to China. "The roads are not only going to boost imports from China, but they will also open gates of a big market for our domestic products. Considering the potential, people have been desperately waiting for the completion of the road projects," he said.

Karnabir Shahi of Humla assumes that the direct connection with Tibet will stop a lot of people of the western part of the country from looking for a job elsewhere. Roads will generate employment, he said.

"We have herbs, fruits, dairy products, and so on. But we don't have easy access to the market. Once the roads are opened, we can sell our produces across the border," he said. "Similarly, the import of Chinese products through the border is going to create jobs for many people. The business community is quite excited about the road projects," he added.

Hilsa–Simikot road, which is 95 kilometers long, is near completion. According to Minister Jwala, plans are underfoot there is planning to open it before Dashain.

Hilsa–Simikot Road Project reported that the most complex part of the road construction, which lies at Chhasara Cliff has now almost completed.

"The toughest part was to blast the cliff and open track there. We are almost done with that as only 40 meters of the cliff is to be settled now, said sub-engineer with the project, Birendra Shahi.

In the Bheri corridor, work is underway in three sections. The track at Jajarkot-Dunai, the first section, is almost completed, while DPR of the second section, Dunai–Dho has been finalized. And the road construction along the third section, Dho–Marimlapas is underway.

So far, 118 kilometers of Jajarkot–Dunai road section has been opened. And DPR of 15 bridges, which falls in this road section, has been finalized. According to Narendra Bhatta, chief of the Road Division Office of Chaurhajari, the DPR has been accepted by the concerned authorities. What remains now is the review of the environmental impact of the bridges, he said.

"Once the report of the environmental assessment is accepted, we can go ahead with the project. Bridges will be built, and the roads will be blacktopped," he said.

Construction of the roads in Mugu that connect the district with Tibet is in progress, too. Around 96 kilometers of Gamgadhi–Nakchalagna road is opened so far.

According to Humla residents, Shahi, there are reasons to trust the authority that the roads are going to get completed on time. Unlike the other times, the government looks pretty serious, he noted.

"It seems that the government has been taking the projects very seriously. They are working fiercely on completing the project," he said. "If this pace continues, we are hopeful that we will be connected to Tibet quite soon," he added.

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