Madan Bhandari Highway project sees 38 percent progress in three years

Published On: January 30, 2022 02:25 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 30: The overall progress of the Madan Bhandari Highway has reached just 38 percent, although the project was started three years ago. A 366 km highway section under the project is currently facing a dispute over improper demarcation of roads delaying the construction. 

In 2018, the Government of Nepal had decided to construct the highway to connect Bahundangi in Jhapa to Rupal in Dadeldhura. 

As per a Cabinet decision on May 20, 2019, the highway would connect Bahundangi, Shantinagar, Dharan, Chatra, Gaighat, Katari, Sindhuligadhi, Hetauda, Gaidakot, Rampur, Ramdi, Ridi, Balkot, Sandhikharka, Bijubar, Sitalpati, Surkhet, Baddichaur, Badur, Jogbuda, and Rupal. However, the project has not been able to move forward smoothly due to the protest from some locals against the proposed road sections. 

According to Director Ashok Tiwari of Madan Bhandari Planning Office, just 38 percent of the total project has been completed so far. “Out of the projected 765 km highway under the office, just 244 km has been constructed. The highway section is being constructed under the Madan Bhandari Highway Planning Office and the Division of Roads office,” Tiwari said. 

As many as 77 bridges have been planned along the highway. Lack of budget and disputes over the highway’s demarcation are the major factors delaying the project’s completion, Tiwari informed Republica.

Out of the overall projected 1,250 km long highway, the construction of 420 km of the highway is being carried out by project offices and the Road Division Office. Meanwhile, the Madan Bhandari Highway Planning Office is responsible for the upgradation and the construction of 765 kilometers of the highway project.

Among the 136 km of disputed highway section, an agreement has been reached for 63 kilometers of the road section, while 72 km of the highway is still under dispute.

The government had allocated Rs 2.8 billion to the project for the current fiscal year. Of which, over Rs 1 billion has been spent, according to the planning office. 

The estimated cost of the project is set at Rs 85 billion to upgrade the roads including construction of bridges, according to the planning office. In the last fiscal year, the government allocated Rs. 3.77 billion for the highway project.


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