Nearly 1,100 workers stranded at Kaligandaki corridor project site in Nawalparasi (East)More than 150 workers stuck at the construction site in Gauda alone.
Nearly 1,100 construction workers, working for the Kaligandaki corridor road construction projects in the remote part of East Nawalparasi have been stranded for the last six days following the implementation of the weeklong nationwide lockdown.
Santosh Raut, a worker at the project site at Gauda, told the Post over the phone that there were nearly 150 workers like him stranded at Gauda alone. Raut’s group of workers has been working in section 40 of the project, one of the national pride projects. The project has been divided into various numbered-sections per kilometre. The other stranded workers are from Salyan, Pyuthan, Rolpa, Rukum, Jajarkot, Bhojpur, Dailekh, Ilam, Sankhuwasabha districts.
Raut, along with his group, is working under a local contractor, Khum Bahadur Giri, for the last two months. “We haven’t been paid for two months. We are stuck here and don’t know what to do?”
Consultant engineer for the section, Rohit Bhattarai informed that a large number of workers are left stranded and are living in difficult conditions. “We are trying our best to send the workers home but we haven’t been able to do so as the locals have blocked roads by felling trees in many places barring vehicular movement,” said Bhattarai.
“A total of 148 workers from various construction sites of the project were sent home on Saturday night by the contractor company. I have been informed that the contractors are coordinating with the District Administration Office for rescuing the remaining workers,” said Bhattarai. He further informed that the contractors are coordinating with the District Administration Office to send the remaining workers home.
Chief District Officer of Nawalparasi (East), Pitambar Ghimire, told the Post over the phone that there was a looming shortage of food in the construction site area. “I have asked the contractor company to make arrangements to feed the workers. They must also pay the due amount to the workers if they are to be sent home,” said Ghimire.
The contract for the 75km long Gaindakot-Dandagaun section of the Kaligandaki corridor was awarded to Indian company EKK infrastructures Limited which has employed many Nepali contractors to work on various sections of the construction site. The Kailgandaki corridor is 435km long that connects Sunauli in India to Korala border in China.