LALITPUR, July 25: Shivram Khadka of Tika Bhairav, Godavari Municipality-6 in Lalitpur, walks the four-kilometer road every day to take his daughter to and from college. But as the road is in a sorry state, he has to suffer a lot during the back and forth. He said that earlier the college bus used to come till Tika Bhairav, but now, due to the ongoing blacktopping of the Pangaon-Chapagaon road, the bus service is being operated only up to Chapagaon Chowki due to which not only him but many others are facing difficulties during their travel.
Khadka said that he takes his daughter to and from college because he cannot send her alone along the jungle road at 6 in the morning. He said that his daughter walks the road alone when he is unable to accompany her due to important work. “On the one hand, to reach the college early in the morning, one has to leave home quite early, and it rains heavily. Some days we fall on the slippery road while returning home. On the other hand, due to the summer heat, one gets exhausted and unable to work or study,” he said.
Local residents of Tika Bhairav and Lele say that when the road is blocked for months due to construction, they go to Chapagaon, Thecho on foot for work. Buses do not operate on all roads of this area. Pedestrians complain that they are forced to come and go on foot as there are no vehicles operating on the road in Chapagaon that is getting blacktopped. "Those who have their own vehicles are unaffected by whether public vehicles operate. People of the older generation like us and children suffer from this. Whether it is monsoon or winter, clothes worn today become dirty by tomorrow,” Nisa Desar of Chapagaon says, “Who understands the problem faced by the general public as the road is dusty in winter and muddy in monsoon?”
Desar says there are many problems such as not being able to dry clothes outside due to dust in winter, clothes worn while going to work are not fit for wearing tomorrow, new vehicles having to be delivered to the scrap buyers after a year due to unorganized roads, and having to go to the hospital three times in a month due to smoke. The main road has been closed for more than a month and a half due to the black topping of the road from Pangaon to Chapagaon of Godavari Municipality. Due to this, vehicles coming from Lagankhel are unable to reach Ward 10. Even when the main road is closed, local people get stuck in traffic jams for hours and it takes hours to get out of the ring road due to traffic jams. Even though the road has to be built, the locals complain that it is difficult to travel due to the lack of good alternative roads.
Not only the people of Godavari Municipality, but also people of three municipalities in Lalipur and two municipalities of Makwanpur are suffering, says Karna Desar, a local resident of Chapagaon. According to Desar, the upper area of Pangaon has been opened after the topping finished, but the lower area still needs time to be blacktopped, but it will also take time to set. Since the Dholahiti-Lele road expansion started a few years ago, only the section up to Pangaon-Chapagaon post is going to be topped. Desar said that in the previous years, the blacktopping would come off soon.
Gajendra Maharjan, mayor of Godavari Municipality, said that although the common people suffered during the construction of the road, efforts were being made to make this road better in the long term. He also said that citizens are suffering while walking on alternative roads and he is getting many complaints. He said that work had to be done in monsoon because a lot of water was needed during the rainy season. Maharjan said that one can go to Satdobato and Lagankhel after exiting Nagdah from Dhapakhel in Jharuvasi via Bajrabarahi in Chapagaon.
This road is also the main road for local traffic in southern Lalitpur. But the people of southern Lalitpur are suffering because the roads are narrow and full of potholes. They have been demanding not only to fill the potholes but also to widen the roads. Kanti Lokpath, the shortest road connecting Lalitpur to Hetauda, also falls under this road. After the road widening work was completed in other places, the widening work did not proceed in those areas due to the old settlements and narrow roads.