CHITWAN, Aug 8: Under construction Narayanghat-Muglin road section will be spending additional Rs 200 million to grapple with frequent landslides. There are 29 places along the section that have high risk of landslide. A recent study on preventing landslide risk has just proposed the details of strategy and expenses for controlling landslides.
“As per the recommendation of the consultant, landslide prevention will require Rs 200 million,” said Shiva Khanal, engineer and information officer of Narayangadh-Muglin Road Construction Project.
Based on the consultant’s report, the project office has deployed experts to take action on landslide prevention.
“We have already deployed experts in the field. They will give us the final budget details,” Khanal said: “We won’t halt the work even if it would take more than Rs 200 million.”
The project office has assigned geotechnical engineer Tuklal Adhikari on the field. Adhikari has long experience on highway landslide prevention.
In ordinary cases, planting deep rooted plants can control the landslide. “But Muglin road section has different issues so bioengineering alone won’t be enough,” Adhikari said: “Recently I am studying feasibility of different alternatives to control landslide.”
According to Adhikari, there are plans to use rock-netting method that uses nets to stop boulders coming down the hill. Similarly, special tunnels will be constructed for landslides caused by rainfall. Likewise, concrete paving will be used on steep slope that cannot be destroyed by water, Adhikari said.
After the expansion, this road section will be 11 meters wide. According to information received from the project office, 141 big landslides have occurred along the section since the beginning of the project until July end.
According to Khanal, the biggest landslide occurred last year with 11,000 cubic meters of accumulated debris.
Landslides had halted the road section for 43 hours last week. On August 2, 10 big landslides had occurred simultaneously on a single day. Khanal said this was the first incidence since the beginning of the project that the landslide has halted the road for such a long time.
Till now landslides along the section have damaged 25 vehicles including both big and small vehicles. The landslides have claimed not only vehicles, but also passengers. Till date five persons have lost their lives in the landslides. To monitor the road situation, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba recently visited the road section and instructed the concerned authorities to complete the works soon.
The road expansion work was started with a loan assistance of Rs 3 billion from the World Bank. A number of agreements were made with different companies in 2015 to complete the work within two years. Till date only 54 percent work has been completed; however, the project team hopes to complete the works by December.