Deputy PM and Defense Minister Ishwor Pokharel, third from right, inaugurates the 103-kilometer Jajarkot-Dolpa road constructed by Nepal Army in Dolpa on Tuesday. BISHNU PRASAD DEVKOTA/Republica
DOLPA, Nov 21: Road networks have finally embraced the remote district of Dolpa. To a great excitement and joy of the locals, Deputy PM and Defense Minister Ishwor Pokharel inaugurated the 103-kilometer Jajarkot-Dolpa road constructed by Nepal Army on Tuesday.
"This road is the road to prosperity. This remote land has now been linked to the national road network and has opened avenues of opportunities for the residents of this land," said Pokharel. "Dolpa will touch new heights of economic development and it will be no more called a land of poverty and starvation," he added.
On the occasion, Pokharel stated that the responsibility of upgrading the Supani-Dunai road section will be also given to the Nepal Army. This 14-kilometers track was opened by Dolpa's District Development Committee.
Chief Minister of Karnali Province Mahendra Bahadur Shahi stated that the road will play a vital role in bringing change to people's lives in the region. "This region, which has been labeled as a poor and remote will now see changes soon because of this road," he said. "We have immense growth potentials and resources. But in the lack of road, we were not able to harness them," he added.
Chief of Army Staff Purna Chandra Thapa said the army is committed to contributing for national development. Whatever project the government hands over to the army, the army will undertake and execute it with full devotion and finish it on time, he said.
"Nepal Army is always ready for contributing to national development. Works handed over to us are done dutifully," he remarked.
The track was opened after 14 years of consistent hard work by the army. Acknowledging the dedication of the army, Pokharel honored the project chief Colonel Bishwo Bandhu Pahadi during the program by handing over a certificate of appreciation.
With the opening of the track, Dolpa is now fully connected to the national road network. Pokharel and his team had arrived in Dolpa for inaugurating the road via Nepal Army's helicopter on Tuesday morning. The team was received with great enthusiasm by the locals and performed cultural shows.
Soon after the inauguration, small to heavy vehicles had started playing it.
13 bridges needed
Even though the new track brought smiles to the local populace, it still requires 13 motorable bridges for becoming a better road. Once these bridges are built along the Jajarkot-Dolpa road section many additional villages will be connected to the road network.
According to Nepal Army, some of these required bridges are already under construction. On the occasion, Dolpa residents urged minister Pokharel to speed up the construction of bridges as well.
As we have completed the most important task of opening the road track, the government should now focus its energy on building the required bridges at the earliest, they said.
Om Bahadur Budha, mayor of the Tripura Sundari Municipality, said that the government has also been requested for working on the road to make it even better.
"We urge the government to blacktop the road and build bridges at necessary points. If blacktopping is not done soon, quality of the road will deteriorate," he said. "Locals are very happy about this track. Its opening is a dream come true for all. But blacktopping it will make it further effecient," he added.
Endowed with rocky hills, traveling narrow and steep hills of Dolpa had been a long-standing problem for the district residents. In lack of roads, they had travelling the risky routes from time immemorial and many have perished in those risky journies. Budha said that the new track has now brought such a sorry scenario to an end. "We are really relieved. Lack of road indeed has cost us dearly till now. But no more," he said.