RASUWA, Nov 16: The work of upgrading the road connecting to Rasuwagadhi check point in the northern border has been pushed back by four months. The delay is caused by inability to shift electric poles that stand on the way of the road.
A Chinese construction group had come to the area to start work before Dashain, and the Nepali authorities had expected that work would begin from areas that were clear. But the Chinese side, in a joint meeting held in Kathmandu, agreed to work only after the site was fully cleared. This stopped the commencement of work for the time being.
According to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), it will take four months to relocate electric poles from of construction area. It is estimated that the task will cost Rs 50 million. The Galchhi-Trishuli-Mailung-Syaphru-Rasuwagadhi Road Project will provide the cost to relocate electric poles and purchase equipment for that.
According to project head Narayan Dutt Bhandari it will now take minimum four months to start the work.
Tibet Thiyanalu Company Limited, a Chinese company, has been given the contract of upgrading the road. The company said that shifting the poles will take time due to lengthy official procedures, not due to lack of funds. Construction of project camp and shifting of the electric poles are the two major tasks to be completed before the work of road could be started.
The Chinese side had initiated works in September targeting to complete within 39 months. The distance of Syaphrubesi-Rasuwagadhi road section is 17 kilometers, of which the Chinese side will upgrade 15.8 kilometers.
Currently, the road is single-lane and is rough. After the upgrading, it will be made double-lane and will be blacktopped. The Chinese government has provided grant for the project.
As per the Detailed Project Report (DPR), the Syaphrubesi-Rasuwagadhi road section will be upgraded by the Chinese government and will be handed over to Nepal government.
Construction of this road is expected to facilitate trade between Nepal and China. Currently, the road is in a poor state, making it difficult for vehicles to pass. The road from Galchi to Rasuwagadhi road is divided into three sections: Galchi-Mailung, Mailung-Syaphrubesi, and Syaphrubesi-Rasuwagadhi.
The total distance from Galchi to Rasuwagadhi is 82 kilometers. Among the three sections, work for upgrading Galchi-Mailung section is going on, whereas tender bid is yet to be called for the Mailung-Syaphrubesi section. It is targeted to complete in 30 months after start of road upgradation.
According to project head Bhandari, the Mailung-Syaphrubesi road will be constructed to meet Asian highway standard. “This will be a dedicated double-lane road,” he said, “It would be 11 meters wide.” The physical progress of Galchi-Mailung road has reached 50% and financial progress 45%.