SINDHULI, Dec 24: The construction of 13 kilometers of road on Sindhuli-Makwanpur section of Madan Bhandari Highway has been affected due to calls to change the route to avoid Dhura Bazaar in Sindhuli.
Keshab Ojha, an engineer at the western sector Madan Bhandari Highway Project Office, said there has been no progress on six-kilometer stretch between Dhura Bazaar and Khatta as the concerned stakeholders have not finalized the new route yet.
Kamalamai Municipality as well as provincial and federal lawmakers have been pushing for the new alignment, arguing that many houses have to be demolished at Dhura Bazaar if road is built as per the designed agreed earlier. But there has been no consensus on the new alignment for the road stretch yet.
"The locals have formally requested the federal ministry to change the existing alignment that goes through Dhura bazaar. We are awaiting the ministry's direction on the issue," Ojha added.
Lawmakers of the area say that they have proposed to link the road section to BP Highway at Kamalamai-4 to avoid Dura bazaar. Binod Khadka, a member of Provincial Assembly of Province 3, said that it was the best and cheaper alternative. "As the construction work on the road section has stalled for long, we started looking for the right alternative. I am hopeful that the construction work on the stretch will start very soon," he added.
There was similar dispute on Athuwa-Kharkhola stretch in Kamalamai Municipality and Marin Rural Municipality. "But the two local units have resolved the matter amicably. Construction work will resume soon," said Ojha.
According to the project office, similar dispute has been seen on four-kilometer stretch between Chisapani and Chaughada of Makwanpur. Locals have moved the court saying that the road project was using their land plots. Though the court has ruled in favor of the project, locals are still creating obstacles.
Similarly, work on two-kilometer stretch in Chhatiban of Makawanpur has also been affected. Likewise, there is a need to change the route at Hakpara near Hariharpur Gadhi in Sindhuli as the area is landslide-prone.
The national pride project has to be completed over the next three years. However, obstruction in construction works is affecting the pact of the project.
Work on the 115-kilometer section between Bhiman in Kamalamai Municipality of Sindhuli and Chaughada of Makwanpur is going on. According to Ojha, the project has achieved 65% physical progress in the western section.