36 road sections are being impacted due to electric poles erected in the middle of the roads
SURKHET, April 11: A road connecting the downtown of Surkhet bazaar, the capital of Karnali Province, and the Province Assembly building has recently been blacktopped, however, with a line of electric poles in the middle as the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) failed to remove them on time.
“We had no option left other than blacktopping the road without removing the poles as the contract was due to expire,” said Padam Khadka, a member of board of directors of the Shyam and Shanar Construction, the firm which won the contract to construct the road. “We waited for the authorities concerned to get those poles removed from the middle of the road, however, couldn’t hold any longer in view of time constraint.”
The six-meter wide road was expanded to 10-meter including the electric poles. According to the construction firm, the work was to be completed by mid-January earlier this year. The road construction was delayed primarily due to NEA’s failure to clear the road.
Most under-construction roads in Karnali’s capital, Birendranagar, have been impacted due to the electric poles erected in the middle of the roads. As many as 36 road sections are being widened and blacktopped in Birendranagar alone. More than 150 electric poles are to be relocated from the roads after the road expansion, according to Basudev Poudyal, director at the Infrastructure Development Office, Surkhet.
NEA, on the other hand, blamed manpower crunch for its failure to relocate the electric poles. Tanka Raj Giri, NEA’s Surkhet chief, said that they have to carry out additional works with a few staff at the office. “We have found it difficult to discharge our regular duties. This [pole clearance] has made it more difficult,” he said, adding that the work is underway on priority basis.