KATHMANDU, Aug 15: All roads damaged by recent floods have been restored and transportation has resumed from Tuesday, government officials say.
“Vehicular movement has normalized across the country as we have already repaired the damaged road sections and bridge,” Gopal Prasad Sigdel, the director general of Department of Roads (DoR), told Republica.
Vehicles have also started plying the Narayanghat-Mugling Road. With the resumption of vehicular movement, supply of goods has normalized three days after floods wreaked havoc in southern plains of the country as well as in some hilly areas.
As many as 24 bridges, including 14 on the eastern section of the East-West Highway, from Chitwan to Jhapa, are partially damaged, according to preliminary assessments made by the DoR. All damaged bridges have been brought into operation after immediate maintenance, according to officials of the department.
Likewise, road sections in over a dozen places, which were either damaged or washed away, have been repaired, say DoR officials.
“The damage to roads and bridges is one of the largest in the history,” Daya Kant Jha, the spokesperson for the DoR, said. “Floods had partially damaged 24 bridges and inundated different road sections. Now, the water level is receding. But there are chances of road erosion in the coming days,” he added.
DoR officials say that they have repaired damaged approaches or slabs of most of the damaged bridges. Similarly, diversions have been opened as an alternative. Likewise, landslides in some places on hilly roads have been cleared, they say.
A 425-bridge over Babai River at Jabdighat has collapsed, cutting the only link for people of Magargadhi village to Bardiya district headquarters Gulariya.
According to DoR officials, all the bridges partially damaged by the floods were built five decades ago.
“Emergency repair has been done to resume movement of vehicles. We will need to make detailed assessment to ascertain cost and time to rebuild the roads,” Jha added.
The opening of damaged roads will help relief teams to reach to flood-affected people with relief supplies.
DoR officials say many roads and bridges sustained damage mainly due illegal mining for sand and aggregate in the Chure range, haphazard land plotting and encroachment of rivers. “Similarly, under-construction roads that run of the East-West Highway in the southern plains of the country have blocked flow of water at several places. This also caused inundation of several key roads,” added Sigdel.