Tusal-Bauddha road prepared for instant blacktopping after locals’ protest
May 11, 2019 08:57 AM NPT
By: Sonam Lama
KATHMANDU, May 11: The ward office of Kathmandu Metropolitan City-6, in coordination with four other parties, reached an agreement to blacktop the Chabahil-Sankhu road section after the enraged locals protested against the delay in rebuilding the road on Thursday morning. The Bauddha Trade Association, local residents' group, Shree Tusal Youth Club and United Builders Pvt Ltd jointly signed the six-point agreement for blacktopping the Tusal-Bauddha road on Sunday.
The six-point agreement includes the immediate blacktopping of the road beginning from Sunday, prior construction of sub base, base and a drain along the Bauddha-Jorpati stretch, maintenance of taps, drainage pipes, settling the dust by sprinkling water by the locals and holding protest till the ongoing construction work is completed. According to the sixth point of the agreement, the protest will be continued if the agreement is breached.
The expansion work of the 11.46-kilometer road began in October 2015 but the contractors have been delaying the work under various pretexts. The reconstruction of the road will begin afresh from Sunday after being in a neglected state for four years.
“Police charged batons and used teargas to disperse the crowd protesting the delay in the road expansion. It is unfortunate that locals are compelled to adopt such measures to remind the government and contractors of their responsibilities. However, we are hopeful now that we could breathe in dust-free air and be able to properly maintain and promote the world heritage site among the tourists,” said president of Shree Tusal Youth Club, Vijay Lama.
Kumar Lama, a local, believes that the instant make-over of the road could question its sustainability. “The rise in air pollution has greatly impacted the people's health, Therefore, the protest was the last resort to come together and exhibit our intolerance towards the negligence by the authorities,” said Lama.
“However, we cannot have the road blacktopped without ensuring its sustainability as doing so would be just a quick fix,” he added.
According to the chairperson of ward 6, Dipenrdra Lama, the initial preparation for blacktopping the road has begun. The potholes are being covered with the help of pitch rollers and the electric poles are being maintained. We have been sprinkling water through a tanker in order to settle down the dust and smog for now.
“We are planning to complete blacktopping the Tusal-Bauddha stretch of the road by Tuesday and carry on with the work until the entire road is maintained in the area. The plan is to make the road 22 meters wide with two meters spared for footpath on each side,” added Lama.