Suspension bridge projects in Gandaki halted due to shortage of cablesThe data of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructures Development showed that works on 23 suspension bridges in the province have been delayed due to lack of cables.
The installation of a suspension bridge over the Kali Gandaki River in Arjewa Sunasa Phant has been left unattended for the last nine months due to a shortage of construction materials.
Works on the bridge that connects Baglung and Parbat districts should have been completed within the running fiscal year but they have been delayed because of a lack of cables, according to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructures Development in Gandaki Province that is overseeing the project.
Around 7,000 individuals of both Baglung and Parbat districts have been affected due to the delay in the bridge’s completion. The total cost of the 310metre-long bridge is around Rs 20 million.
The status of a suspension bridge that connects wards 1 and 10 of Besisahar Municipality in Lamjung is also similar. The bridge’s installation work has been left incomplete because of a lack of cables. The 243metre-long bridge is being built at a total cost of Rs 23.8 million.
Similarly, works on a 300metre-long suspension bridge over Daraudi Khola in Gorkha have also been halted due to a shortage of cables. According to the ministry, the bridge will be completed within a month if they receive cables on time. The bridge needs 5,000 metre-long cables of various sizes for its completion, said Ram Parajuli, chief at the ministry’s Division of Roads.
The data of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructures Development showed that works on 23 suspension bridges in Gandaki Province have been delayed due to a lack of cables.
“The provincial government has a plan to construct 121 bridges in the current fiscal year. But the plan seems unlikely to materialise since we don’t have enough cables,” said Ram Chandra Shrestha, secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructures Development.
According to Shrestha, Nepal does not have a cable factory and imports cables from China and India. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, a factory in India has been closed and Nepal has been unable to import cables on time, he added.
“Works on 15 suspension bridges in Gorkha, Baglung, Kaski, Syangja and Lamjung districts could be completed soon if cables were available. There's a shortage of cables in Gandaki Province,” said Shrestha.
In the last fiscal year, the ministry had allocated Rs 428.4 million for the installation of suspension bridges. This year, a total budget of Rs 368.4 million has been allocated for the same.
“Out of the 121 bridge projects, the DPR of 60 bridges have been prepared,” Shrestha said. “The Department of Local Infrastructures manages cables for suspension bridges across the country. Last year, the department had invited a tender of cables of Rs 400 million. This year, the tender of cables has been invited for Rs 800 million. But the cables have not arrived due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, on his first stint as prime minister in 2015, had pledged to replace all tuins in Nepal with suspension bridges.