Team sent to inspect delay in upgradation work of the Beni-Jomsom-Korala roadThe project’s careless implementation has put settlements along the Kaligandaki river at landslide risks.
The Development Committee of Federal Parliament recently sent a team led by Kalyani Khadka, coordinator of the committee, to inspect the delay in upgradation work of the Beni-Jomsom-Korala road.
Stakeholders of the road project had informed Khadka that the upgradation work of the road was moving at a snail’s pace.
Terming the road as the lifeline of Gandaki Province, Bhupendra Bahadur Thapa, a member of House of Representatives, Gyan Nath Dhakal, Chief District Officer, Devendra Bahadur KC, chief at the District Coordination Committee, Govinda Paudel, a Nepal Communist Party leader and Madhav Regmi, a Nepali Congress leader, among others said that the road construction work has not been carried out as expected.
“The upgradation work has been sluggish. The carelessness of the project implementation has put settlements near Kaligandaki riverside at landslide risks,” said Thapa, informing that the project workers have deposited soil (dug from the road) in the river and its banks.
“We have conducted a field study after receiving complaints from the concerned stakeholders. We have been informed that the road upgradation work is in chaos,” said Khadka, adding that she will inform the government about the delay of road upgradation work. According to her, the Development Committee will take initiatives to halt the contractor company’s works if it misses the deadline.
Refuting claims of sluggishness at the worksite, Mukunda Adhikari, chief of the road project, said the construction of the road will be completed in the given deadline of mid-December. Adhikari said, “There are some complex technical issues that are hindering the construction work. We are working towards solving these issues.”
There are more than 200 utility poles installed in the middle of the 184km Beni-Jomsom-Korala road section. Accusing the Nepal Electricity Authority of not extending help in the completion of the road project, Adhikari said, “The ongoing construction of the Rahughat Hydropower Project has hampered the road project. We cannot solve this problem alone. The Cabinet should decide the next course of action to solve the problem,” said Adhikari. “It is difficult to finish the expansion of the road without removing those poles.”
According to the project, the estimated cost of the upgradation project is Rs 5 billion. Until now, only 48 percent of the upgradation work has been completed in the lower section whereas 80 percent of work has been completed in the upper section of the road.
Jagat Prajapati, an engineer of the road project, said that to upgrade the road sections at Timure, Bhirkot, and Badarjung Bhir areas, they will have to blast the road, which will block the Kaligandaki river with boulders and debris. This might increase the risk of floods in the river stream. “We have been discussing the feasibility of using the blasting method to clear the section for upgradation. We might also opt to dig out a tunnel instead,” said Prajapati.