NAGARKOT, Aug 11: Hundreds of Bhaktapur locals led by lawmakers staged a demonstration on Saturday demanding action against the contractor of the Bhaktapur-Nagarkot road widening project. Angered at the delay in the road-widening work, locals led by federal lawmaker Prem Suwal marched along the three-kilometer road section from Telkot to Kharibot of Bhaktapur.
They chanted slogans against the contractor, Sharada Prasad Adhikari, and ruling party leaders for 'protecting the defaulter contractor'. It has been learned that Adhikari is the landlord of NCP Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Dahal has reportedly been living in a rented house belonging to Adhikari for the past several years.
Locals came down heavily on Dahal and Prime Minister KP Oli. Adhikari's Sailung Construction was awarded the contract for widening the 16-km Kamalbinayak-Nagarkot road in 2014 with a mandate to complete the work in two years. As per the contract, the two-lane road was to be widened to four lanes and blacktopped by 2016.
Hundreds of locals, elected representatives of local units, and leaders and cadres of the Nepal Workers Peasants Party participated in the protest march. The protesters claimed that Oli and Dahal have been protecting the defaulter contractor.
“Oli and Dahal are the main perpetrators as they are protecting the defaulter contractor. So, the two should face action,” said federal lawmaker Suwal, addressing the protesters. Suwal was elected to parliament from Bhaktapur constituency 2.
The construction company, however, claims it has already completed 65 percent work.
So far, the construction company has blacktopped a three-kilometer section. Potholes are have emerged everywhere on the upgraded road section whereas the road to Nagarkot is badly damaged owing to poor maintenance.
Tourism entrepreneurs and hoteliers at Nagarkot complain that their businesses have been badly hit due to the poor road. According to them, Nagarkot can accommodate about 800 tourists daily but the flow has decreased markedly since the past few years as the road is in poor shape. Nagarkot is a popular hill station famous for an incredible view of sunrise.
Even as there are four dozen small and luxurious hotels in Nagarkot, the flow of tourists has not been encouraging since the past few years owing to the poor road, according to hoteliers.