Work on Mid-hill Highway bridges stalled since years

Published On: February 1, 2018 02:55 AM NPT By: Janak KC

JAJARKOT, Feb 1: Construction of various bridges along the Mid-hill Highway remains stalled for a long time. Some of such bridges are in Jajarkot district. Contractors have abandoned work of many such bridges since the past five years. Due to the lack of bridges, some of the newly-constructed roads have not yielded many benefits to the locals.

In one instance, construction of a bridge connecting Chaurjahari of west Rukkum and Kudu of Jajarkot over the Bheri River had begun five years ago. However, contractors have not erected even a single pillar so far.

“The future of the bridge became uncertain after contractors abandoned the construction work without building a foundation for pillars,” said Karna Prasad Acharya, a local. Sheer negligence of contractors and lack of concern from the government are the main reasons, locals said.

Due to the delay in the construction, a 92-kilometer road in Jajarkot has not come into use, according to Acharya. “The mud roads have been built well. However, vehicles could not use the roads in lack of a bridge.

The Department of Roads (DoR) had pledged to construct three bridges along the 92-km road section from Rukum's Chaurjahari to Jajarkot's Suyada. Despite the assurance, work on the Bheri Bridge connecting Kudu and Chaurjahari has remains stalled for over five years, creating problems for the locals of Jajarkot, Rukum and Salyan districts. 

Likewise, locals have complained that the elevation newly-constructed bridge connecting Bhur and Jagatipur is too low. 

The DoR informed that they have yet to solicit bids for the construction of a third bridge over the Choda Khola river.

Kathmandu-based BIP Construction had won the bid for the construction of the Bheri Bridge in the Chaurjahari-Kudu section. The company is to construct the bridge for Rs 150 million. Now, for the delay in the construction of the bridge, the company has blamed 'lack of working environment'.

“We have not been able to construct the bridge as per the design of the DoR as there is no proper working environment,” said Raju Shrestha of the company. “The bridge's design had to be changed after two years of the contract, contributing to the delay. As we have received a new design, the bridge's construction would be completed within two years.”

Meanwhile, divisional engineer Shuvaraj Neupane of the DoR said the delay in the construction is due to the contractor's inability to start work on time. “They could not complete the work despite two extensions of the deadline,” he said.

The locals have complained that their businesses have been badly hit as the road is not operational.

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