RASUWA, Dec 21: The upgradation of Syafru-Rasuwagadhi road section connecting Rasuwagadhi checkpoint has not started yet. The work has not seen any progress as the Nepali side has been delaying the process.
Although the Chinese side is responsible for the upgradation, the Nepali side should clear the site before starting the work. The Nepali side will have to move the electricity poles in the road section, remove the houses that lie in the road area and compensate the affected people in the Tatopani area. But all of these things are happening at a slow pace.
According to the Galchi-Trishuli-Mailung-Syafrubesi-Rasuwagadhi road project, the work of removing the electricity poles has seen less than 50 percent progress so far. Officials said about 50 percent of the 325 poles in the road section have been removed so far even as the work started six months ago. Providing compensation for land in the Tatopani area has not started yet.
The project needs to compensate 16 people for 7.5 ropani of land in the area. The process for providing compensation has started but no concrete decision has been made to this effect. The work of removing houses built on the road section has not been completed either.
Project Chief Narayan Dutta Bhandari said the Chinese team would come and start upgrading the road only after the Nepali side completes its part of work. “Even the construction party has not contacted us yet,” he said, “But even if the construction party comes to the site, it is not possible to start working right now.” The Chinese side will not start work unless the site is clear.
The upgradation work of the road connecting Rasuwagadhi started 14 months ago. The Chinese team in September 2019 had visited the site and announced the commencement of the upgradation work. The team had returned to China saying that they would upgrade after the Nepali side cleared the site. But the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic a few months later, the works could not be expedited.
Although the Chinese team moved forward to complete the construction within 39 months, COVID-19 has had a direct impact on the project. The distance of Syafru-Rasuwagadhi road is 17 kilometers. The Chinese side will upgrade 15.8 kilometers. It is now a one-lane dirt road. The Chinese side will build a two-lane blacktopped road.
The road section is being upgraded with the help of a grant assistance from the Chinese government. According to the plan, Tibet Tianlu Company Limited will carry out the upgradation work of the road section. The detailed project report (DPR) of Syafrubesi-Rasuwagadhi road section has already been prepared.
Bhandari, however, said they have proposed an amendment in the DPR as it would affect the residents of Syafru. “The DPR has been prepared to demolish only the adjoining houses to make the road straight,” he said. “We have considered centering the existing road.”
The road will be upgraded by the Chinese government and will be handed over to the Government of Nepal. After the construction of this road, trade between Nepal and China is expected to be further easier. The road from Galchi to Rasuwagadhi is being divided into three sections. Galchi-Mailung road is the first section, Mailung-Syafru is the second section and Syafru-Rasuwagadhi road is the third section. The distance from Galchi to Rasuwagadhi is just 82 kilometers.