300-metre tunnel planned along Beni-Jomsom-Korala roadThe project has changed the initial design involving the widening of the Mahabhir-Timmure road section.
The Beni-Jomsom-Korala road project has planned to construct a 300-metre tunnel at Bhirkate along the Mahabhir-Timmure road section.
The project has changed the initial design of the project involving the widening of the Mahabhir-Timmure road section.
The upgrade work along the Beni-Jomsom-Korala road section, considered as the lifeline of Gandaki Province, will now adhere to the new design which includes the 300-metre tunnel. The project completion deadline is January 2021 but delays are expected, said Jagat Prajapati, chief at the road project.
“The Covid-19 pandemic and other technical issues along the landslide-prone road stretch had already caused delays in the work,” said Prajapati. “Now we are looking at the possibility of digging a tunnel in the Bhirkate area since the earlier design for the Mahabhir-Timmure section is impossible to carry out owing to geographical difficulties,” he said.
According to him, the road construction at Kaprebhir will go ahead as planned despite the difficult terrain. “We will be using explosives to widen the road. There is only going to be a slight change in the design,” he added.
According to Prajapati, the construction of road is almost impossible in the Bhirkate area since the pathway is blocked by a rocky cliff. Bhirkate lies in Andha Galchhi [gorge] on the banks of the Kaligandaki River.
Beni-Jomsom-Korala road project is set to change the design along the 18 km long Mahabhir-Timmure section and 28 km long Kaprebhir-Bandarjungbhir.
The road construction and upgrade work of the 186-km Beni-Jomsom-Korala commenced around four years ago. The construction, gravelling and blacktopping works have been completed along the 110-km Jomsom-Korala section. However, the upgrade work along Beni-Jomsom stretch remains incomplete.
The 76-km Beni-Jomsom stretch was divided into four different sections and the work was contracted out accordingly. But the construction work is sluggish due to various problems including Covid-19, landslides and difficult terrain.
According to Prajapati, around 60 percent work has been completed along the first section of Galeshwar-Tatopani and second section of Tatopani-Ghansa section. Similarly, 85 percent road upgrade work has been completed along Ghansa-Lete and 65 percent in Lete-Jomsom sections.