ROLPA, April 14: With the formation of the local governments, road connectivity became the first preference for all. However, it has been learnt that most of the roads recently constructed in the rural areas are against the standard set by the federal government. Nevertheless, the sub-standard work and negligence of the contractors have still eluded to draw the attention of the responsible authorities.
No one has dared to speak against the flaws of the roads yet. Nor has the responsible authorities taken any steps to inspect the roads despite being aware about the negligence.
"As most of the projects are small ones, it is not possible to prepare their Detailed Project Report (DPR). There is not enough manpower to prepare proper design as well," said Mukesh Kunwar, engineer of Rolpa Municipality.
According to him, a master plan must be prepared before the construction of road but no local unit seems to have done so. He complained that the local residents sometimes prevent the contractors from digging road in areas suggested by the engineers. "Even the dozer operators do not listen to us and do the work as per their will," he added.
As none of the authorities seem to obey the technical team, this is what leads to sub-standard work.
"Most roads constructed recently do not meet the standard. We are sure that they will collapse and government will have to spend huge budget repairing them next year," said Kunwar.
Not just Rolpa Municipality, but all the local units of the district are pouring huge budget in road projects. However, they rarely have maps or DPR. These days, maps are prepared after the completion of the road project or sometimes not prepared at all.
"Though it is compulsory to sanction budget for environment during each road project, it is hardly done," said Keshav Budha, chairperson of Runtigadhi Rural Municipality.
Contractors have been carrying out illegal work under the nose of the local government and forest offices. Still, no one seems to object. Paribartan Rural Municipality's engineer Khagendra Budha said "Dozer operators do not listen to us and the locals refuse to allow us to dig the road in areas which are considered appropriate by our assessment," he said.
He further said that some of the local representatives and cadres of political parties operate dozers because of which they hardly obey the engineers. No local units prepare Environment Impact Assessment report, which must be approved by the forest ministry before it starts the road construction.
"We have urged the local units to prepare Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report before starting the road project to avoid the destruction in the name of development," said Krishna Prasad Dhakal, Chief of Forest Division Office (FDO)
According to him, if one tree is cut off during rampant construction work, the responsible authority must grow 14 more trees on the same area.