July 13, 2016 04:00 AM NPT
By: Suman Malla
MUGU, July 13: Locals of Mugu district have seen lots of road construction projects of late. Millions of budgets have been allocated for such projects since the past few years. Recently, road constructions completed in the district headquarters Gamgadhi and about half-a-dozen other Village Development Committees (VDCs) nearby.
Road construction projects were introduced in the district during 2012 after the then Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai inaugurated the Nagma-Gamgadhi road section of the Karnali Highway. Since then, road construction projects have overshadowed other developmental projects in the district.
Despite such a large number of road construction projects, only four VDCs in the district - Shreenagar, Karkibada, Pina and Kham VDCs - have roads on which motors can drive. The rest of the roads are yet to be readied for use.
Although Ruga, Rowa, Gamtha, Shreekot, Rara Seri, and Kalai VDCs are also connected to roads, due to the poor quality of the construction these roads locals are still not able to bring them into use. Millions of rupees spent on constructing roads in those VDCs have not been able to benefit the locals.
Last year the Karnali Employment Program provided a total of Rs 35.7 million for road projects in various 22 VDCs of the district. A total of 18.5 kilometer roads were constructed under the program. Likewise, the District Development Committee (DDC) had allocated Rs 33.7 million for the construction of 22.2 kilometer rural roads.
Similarly, Rs 440 million has been spent since 2014 for constructing a road connecting Gamgadhi, Gilaha and Dhain Dhulachour. Out of the planned 21.5 kilometer road, 19 kilometer has been constructed so far. However, not a single kilometer of this road is is ready for the motors.
“The main reason why road projects have fallen flat is due to ineffective monitoring,” said Bikram Bahadur Shahi, engineer at the District Development Committee (DDC). However, Chitra Bahadur Malla, member of DDC’s project monitoring team, blamed the contractors solely for the poor quality of the roads. “The contractors have deliberately used low quality construction materials to maximize profits from road constructions. Many of the road projects that are deemed completed are not in satisfactory condition because of the contractors’ insincerity.”