Mithilesh Yadav/Republica A section of the Postal Highway in a dilapidated state due to delay in the construction works.
“Travelling along this road has become a nightmare for us in any season. It is full of mud and dust."
SIRAHA, Sept 26: Locals in Province 2 have formed a struggle committee to draw the attention of the concerned authorities regarding the dilly-dallying in construction of the Postal Highway, which in turn has caused a lot of inconvenience to the people.
Ramrijhan Yadav, coordinator of the Postal Highway Struggle Committee (PHSC), took the initiative to start an awareness campaign stating that the negligence and sluggish work of the contractor has halted the development of Madhesi people.
The construction work of the road at snail's pace has made the road much of a nuisance than before.
The first phase of the campaign that kicked off on September 16 concluded on September 21 in Janakpur.
A team led by Yadav conducted this campaign in the 90-kilometer stretch of Saptari and Dhanusha.
According to Yadav, the construction of bridges along Balan, Khadak and Kamala rivers is stalled since years.
After concluding the first phase of the campaign, the committee submitted a memorandum to the Minister for Financial Affairs in Province 2, Bijay Kumar Yadav.
Currently, there are heaps of mud on both sides of the highway in some places for the road widening process. This results into muddy road in monsoon and dust during dry season.
Siddhartha Yadav, chairperson of Aurahi Rural Municipality said," Travelling along this road has become a nightmare for us in any season. It is full of mud and dust."
Swachanda Roshan Mahadev Khimti JV has been awarded the contract for the construction of the 30-kilometer stretch of the Postal Highway starting from Kamala River to Balan River. The contract for the Rs 1.2 billion project was signed on December 24, 2017. This project was supposed to complete within 36 months but nothing significant has been achieved, informed site engineer Manoj Mandal.
Another construction company is responsible for the construction of bridges over Khadak, Balan and Kamala rivers. The contractor has left the construction of the bridges halfway. As a result, some people cross the rivers with the help of temporary bamboo bridges while some get across bare foot in the absence of any other alternative.
The monsoon has left its mark with several bumps and potholes along the highway, which can lead to accidents. Passengers are stranded for hours as their vehicles are stuck in the mud holes.
Locals were delighted when the Chairperson of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal laid the foundation stone in Bariyapatti of Postal Highway on March 20. Chairperson Dahal had assured that the dreams of the Madhesi people would be accomplished after the completion of the Postal Highway. However, his words were nothing more than just hollow promises.
Despite all this, locals are still hopeful that the much-hyped Postal Highway will be completed one day. This is an important project as it will open lots of doors for the development of the region. Eighty years old Laxmi Yadav, a senior citizen of Bariyapatti, says, "Construction of this road has raised hopes of economic prosperity among the locals."
The expansion of various adjoining roads has been delayed due to the sluggish construction of the highway.