Dozens of rural roads have been built in Parbat, but most of them are out of useThe tracks, dug at the initiative of local leaders to woo voters, have raised the risk of landslides in many settlements.
Dozens of rural dirt tracks that were opened in Parbat district ahead of the 2017 local elections have become death traps.
The tracks, dug at the initiative of local leaders to woo voters, have raised the risk of landslides in many settlements.
In some places like Upper Bachha, multiple road projects were launched at once.
“The people of Upper Baccha did not need roads. Still, three road projects were launched in the village,” said Buddhiman Gurung, a local man. “None of the roads are in good condition. They have only raised the risk of landslides.”
Since the local elections three years ago, almost every settlement in Parbat has been connected to the district’s road network. But most of the roads are in a poor state.
Even after the elections, the local governments in the district have prioritised the construction of roads, pouring more than 60 percent of their development budget in road construction.
Khagendra Tiwari, the chairman of Painyu Rural Municipality, admitted that a majority of local governments in Parbat had indeed placed inordinate priority on road projects.
“Other sectors such as social security, health, education, communication, agriculture, good governance and poverty alleviation have been sidelined as a result,” Tiwari said.
In Kandeni village of Modi Rural Municipality, the 7km Patichaur-Deupur road was expected to be a boon for the villagers. But even after the construction of the road, the villagers are still carrying their agricultural produce to the market on their backs.
“The rural roads are of no use for us,” said Tulasiram Paudel, a local farmer.
Dayaram Adhikari, chief at the Infrastructure Development Office, said around 1,000km of roads in Parbat are still not motorable.
“Around Rs 2.5 billion of budget used in road construction have gone down the drain,” Adhikari said. “Most of the rural roads are in a dilapidated condition. Vehicles cannot move on these roads because of poor construction quality.”
Although the road has done nothing but poses landslide risks to many settlements, there’s still unhealthy competition among the local units to open roads.