SAPTARI, Sept 15: The construction of a bridge over the Khando River along the Rajbiraj-Kunauli road section, the only route to connect the district headquarters Rajbiraj with the southern part, started more than four years ago.
This contract of the project was signed on July 15, 2014, and the project was to be completed by July 15, 2016. Even after more than two years since the expiry of the deadline, not even three pillars have been completed yet. The failure of the construction company to build a proper diversion often results in vehicular obstruction during the monsoon.
Since Friday, traffic has been halted again. The contractor has been accused of not constructing a diversion in order to pocket the budget meant for the project. Since India constructed an embankment near the no man's land, the bridge constructed years ago caved in and became useless. So, Pappu/Mrita Sanjeevani JV, Kathmandu was assigned the project of constructing a diversion and a new bridge some 10 meters away from the previous bridge. The contract for the project was signed for more than Rs 50 million.
Despite continuous pressure from the locals, the construction company has not built a diversion. According to the locals, the contractor has been out of contact for the past two years. So far, not even 10 percent of the bridge has been completed. "The construction of the bridge is stalled halfway due to the negligence of the contractor," said local ward Chief Dineshwor Mishra, adding," This has compelled the locals to risk their lives while traveling."
Following the torrential rainfall of last year, Nepal Army and Armed Police Force constructed a diversion by piling sandbags. However, that diversion was washed away by the recent floods. Raj Kumar Jha, Acting Administrative Chief of Koiladi Rural Municipality informed Republica that traveling has been more challenging since then. "City rickshaws and tempos moving across that route often meet with accidents," said Jha, adding, "But people have no other option than traveling on the same difficult route."
Similarly, Kancharam Construction Company has been assigned with the responsibility of constructing a 10-kilometer road of Rajbiraj-Kunauli road. The contract for this project was signed for a whopping 416 million rupees. Currently, around half a dozen bridges and culverts are under construction along this road section. But the company has not built proper diversions in any of those areas, which has resulted in the obstruction of vehicular movement on the Barahipur-Tilathi road section of Chinnmasta Rural Municipality-1 since three days.
The road becomes muddy and slippery after rainfall due to the sand piled up on the sides of the road. This often leads to accidents. Two months ago, Fuleshwor Mishra of Tilathi died while six others were seriously injured when a three-wheeler met with an accident on this road section. The 'negligence' by the construction companies has threatened the safety of passengers along this road.