Nepalgunj-Kohalpur road expansion stalled for four months
August 19, 2022 02:45 PM NPT
By: Arjun Oli
NEPALGUNJ, August 19: The Nepalgunj-Kohalpur road expansion plan has been stalled. The Road Division Office, Nepalgunj, has made several attempts to expand the road section but it has been stuck in the middle. Employees of the Road Division Office say that the plan has stalled due to the people’s refusal to remove private and government structures in the road area.
The road division office tried to remove the structures in these places before the local level elections, but it was stopped in the middle due to reasons such as landlords' refusal and political pressure. The road division office is yet to start the work which was stopped four months ago.
Head of the Road Division Office, Nepalgunj, Hom Bahadur AC said that the Nepalgunj-Kohalpur road expansion plan could not be carried forward due to various reasons. "The site has not been cleared yet, due to the apartment owner’s unwillingness to give away their land, the election and monsoon, this work has stopped midway," he told Republica. The road section was upgraded and made into four lanes a decade ago.
Under this section, which is maintained 25 meters on each side from the middle of the road, from Ganeshman Chowk in Nepalgunj to Police Training Center in Karkado and Kohalpur market area was declared by the government as a settlement area at that time. Now, there is a plan to extend the road section to 21 meters on each side of the road in the settlement area and 25 meters on each side of the road in other areas, says AC, the head of the road division.
The office has also opened a contract for the construction of overhead bridges at Ganeshman Chowk, Dhambojhi Chowk, Karkando Chowk, Ranjha Chowk and Tribhuvan Secondary School Chowk in Kohalpur. The division office head AC said that a tender has been awarded to construct an overhead bridge at a cost of around 100 million rupees.
The road division office said that the contract process could not proceed due to the non-removal of the physical structures along the road. Employees say that they could not go into the contract process at the beginning because it would take time to clear the physical structures. In order to move forward with the road expansion plan, the road division office has said that there should be a consensus among the local political parties, civil society, industry and commerce association first.
Before the local elections, there was an agreement among the political parties, but it was not possible to reach an agreement with all sides. The road division office said that it will be difficult to move forward without the consensus of all parties. It is the understanding of the staff that it will not be possible to do this work before the upcoming elections to the House of Representatives and the provincial assemblies.
Separate contracts for overhead bridge, road upgradation and lighting installation
While the Nepalgunj-Kohalpur road extension work has stalled, the office has started the process of overhead bridge, road upgrading and street light installation in that section. According to the office, overhead bridges are going to be constructed at five different places in Nepalgunj and Kohalpur. The office has also opened a contract for the construction of overhead bridges at Ganeshman Chowk, Dhambozhi Chowk, Karkando Chowk, Ranjha Chowk and Tribhuvan Secondary School Chowk in Kohalpur.
The division office head AC said that the contract has been opened to construct the overhead bridges at a cost of around 100 million rupees. Similarly, the process of upgrading the 10.8 km road from Jamunaha to Ranjha under the Nepalganj-Kohalpur section has been advanced. The road is going to be upgraded using the asphalt technology at a total cost of Rs 330 million.
Earlier, the road division office was carrying out repair work after the blacktopping of 'DBST' technology built by Pappu Construction Company came off in a short time. Rajendra Pandey, sub-engineer of the office, says that the office has upgraded the DBST technology road in the section from Ranjha to Kohalpur from last year's budget and this time it is going to upgrade the road in Ranjha-Jamunaha section with new technology. Similarly, the office said that the process of installing street lights in the 13 km area from Jamunaha to Manikapur has been started.
AC explained that the contract has been opened at a total cost of Rs 70 million. Nepalgunj sub-metropolitan city installed solar lights in that section earlier, but most of the lights have broken down and are out of order. It is the plan of the road division office that all the work of the contract process of these three plans will be completed by the end of Dashain and the construction work will proceed at a fast pace after Tihar.