September 12, 2019 09:22 AM NPT
By: Mohan Gurung
Residents of Fedikhola Rural Municipality celebrate the opening of road track along the Galem cliff in the rural municipality on Tuesday. Photo: Mohan Gurung/Republica
SYANGJA, Sept 12: Hima Devi Upadhayay, 77, is happy beyond words. The local of Rapu village of Fedikhola Rural Municipality has got to see something so pleasant that she had never even dreamed of. A road track has been opened through a rocky cliff called Galem and is ready for vehicles to ply.
“I can’t believe my eyes. It’s a big surprise,” said the elderly mother without taking her eyes off the road on Tuesday afternoon. She was there to join a crowd gathered since morning to inaugurate the first and the only road in her locality.
The track in the Galem cliff was inaugurated amid huge celebration on Tuesday by Chief Minister of Gandaki Province, Prithivi Subba Gurung. The minister had reached there in his SUV, which itself was a spectacle for the locals.
“They have said that once they smoothen the road further such cars will frequently ply this road in the future,” said Upadhayay.
When she was a little girl, she never saw vehicles even in pictures. It was much later in her life she came across buses. “We never saw cars or buses as a kid. There were no roads around here,” she reminisced.
In the course of her life, she somehow happened to reach other towns where she traveled on public vehicles. “Since then I always wished that such roads would be available in our village also. And I always thought this dream would never come true,” she stated.
There are several remote villages in this part of the district where roads have not yet touched. The road at Galem cliff is going to connect many villages in the area.
According to Ram Chandra Poudel of Phedikhola, the road track is a huge milestone towards the development of villages in the area. “We have great tourism and agricultural potential. This road is our path to harness that potential,” he noted.
While inaugurating the road, minister Gurung also stated that the road has will open the region’s door to development.
The track is a result of an initiation taken by the rural municipality under its five-year plan. Though the target was to complete the task within five years, it has been completed in just two years. So far, Rs 12.7 million has been spent on it.
“We need to give some final touches to the road, and that would add more expenditure,” said Dil Bahadur Gurung, chairperson of the consumers’ committee, which took responsibility of the project.
“Road connectivity is vital for all kind of development in any region. Opening this track was a long-held dream of the people living in this area. But it was equally challenging to open a track through this rocky and steep mountain,” he said. “But as they say, where there is will, there is a way. We have done it,” he added.
Yam Bahadur Gurung, 60, states that the track has given a feeling of good governance. For ordinary people like him, it is a huge matter for celebration. “Every time they would get a budget, they would spend that over something else. But this time, they have made us feel that there is a government that works in our interest,” he said. “With the completion of the road track, we feel as if we have entered into an era of light leaving behind centuries of darkness. Now life will be much easier than before.”
Meanwhile, chairperson of the rural municipality, Ghanashyam Subedi stated that infrastructural development in the region is his priority. “Development of an area is not possible in the lack of infrastructures. So, we are focused on building necessary infrastructures in this rural municipality,” he said.