Motorable road reaches remote Baglung villagesThe road link comes as huge relief especially for pregnant women and the elderly in times of emergencies, villagers say.
For the residents of rural villages inBaglung, a journey to the next townwas at least a day’s walk. With thelocal units now focusing on rural roadlink, the journey has been reduced toa mere two-hour bus ride at the most,say local residents.
Om Prakash Chhantyal, a residentof Tamankhola Ward No. 6, saysreaching the nearest town, Burtibang,used to take him an entire day on foot.But with easy road access, it nowtakes him around two hours to reachthe town.
“We can now take jeeps to reachBurtibang. We had to go to Burtibangat least twice a month to buy essentials. The then District DevelopmentCommittee in Baglung never paidmuch attention to road connectivityand did not allocate sufficient budgetfor road projects,” he said. “But thelocal government has listened to ourneeds and focussed on development ofroad structure.”
According to Chhantyal, the thenDistrict Development Committee usedto prioritise micro projects on agriculture, animal husbandry and drinkingwater in the past.
“But after the formation of the localgovernment, the budget is distributedaccordingly in every sector that isimportant for the development ofremote areas,” Chhantyal said.
Kul Bahadur Chhantyal, wardchairman of Tamankhola Ward No. 6,says the villages have gone throughmajor changes in the last five years.
“It was our prerogative to make thelives of the rural people easier. One ofthe first ways to do that was to openroadways. Now Tamankhola is directly connected to Burtibang,” he said.
The Burtibang-BungadobhanNarjakhani road is a 25km-long strategic road stretch that connects withneighbouring Myagdi district through Taman and Sole. Fifteen-km-longBurtibang-Bungadobhan road hasbeen gravelled by the NationalReconstruction Authority.
“The National ReconstructionAuthority allocated Rs 157.9 million toupgrade the road,” said RenukaPandey, acting chief of the DistrictProject Implementation Unit Office ofthe National ReconstructionAuthority. “The local level did nothave enough budget to upgrade theroad track that was damaged by the2015 earthquake. That’s why theNational Reconstruction Authoritystepped in.” According to JoklalBudha, chairman of TamankholaRural Municipality, transportationservices along the road stretch is regular these days, even during the rainyseason since culverts and roadsidedrainage have also been constructed.
“Two bridges are under construction along the road section,” saidBudha.
Budha informed that the construction of a 25-metre-long bridge over theLukurban stream and a 40-metre-longbridge over the Bhalibang stream isalso ongoing with the aim to completeworks by mid-June.
“Rural roads have been constructedto connect all five wards of the localunit to Bungadobhan,” he said.
“After the construction of theBurtibang-Bungadobhan-Narjakhaniroad section, the residents of ruralvillages can now easily travel to BeniBazaar, the district headquarters ofMyagdi. It is nearer than BaglungBazaar. Local residents go to BaglungBazaar for administrative works butthey go to Beni to buy essential goods,”said Udim Chhantyal, chairman ofTamankhola.
A motorable road has also been constructed from Bungadobhan to Sole atthe cost of Rs 30 million provided bythe local unit and infrastructuredevelopment partnership programme.The local residents of Tamankholahad constructed another road fromDarbang of Myagdi district toOkharbote in Baglung a few years agoby collecting Rs 6 million donations.
“Road connectivity has come as ahuge relief especially for pregnantwomen and the elderly. They now haveeasy access to health institutions incase of an emergency,” said GarimaHarmel, a local resident ofTamankhola.