Rs 720m goes down the drain in the name of road building in Salyan districtA total of 500 roads have been built in the area, but locals say the roads serve no purpose in elevating their lives.
There are more than 500 roads in Salyan district, with five roads opened in the last two fiscal year. The later additions were built to connect Ghanjaripipal in Bangadkupinde Municipality, Salyan in Sallibazar, Djorpipal, Sunauli, Swara and Chanpdanda. However, hardly 60 percent of the total 500 roads is motorable, according to the data of the District Coordination Committee in Khalanga, the district headquarters.
Ten local units in Salyan invested Rs 720 million to construct roads in remote areas in the last two fiscal years. But the utility of these roads is questionable. Locals in the district say the roads serve no purpose in elevating the lives of those living in those rural villages.
Bhim Bahadur BK, a local of Jyamire in Bangadkupinde Municipality, said the newly opened Khalanga-Baluwasangarhi road has done nothing but posed landslide risks to many settlements in the area.
“This road is useless. Vehicles cannot ply on this road given the poor construction quality. Local representatives are only focused on building roads to show development activities are on in the district,” he said.
Of the total 1,266km of road, only 500km has been upgraded in the district. Dilli Bahadur Giri, a local of Mokhla, said that locals like him are of the opinion that government’s investment in road projects is a colossal waste of money which could have been used in other activities that would help locals. “They should focus on the existing roads and upgrade them work, rather than opening new roads,” said Giri.
The committee’s record shows that most of the local units have allocated 60 percent of their budgets to road construction this year. Kesh Bahadur Bista, chief at the committee, said that most of the roads are being constructed without conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment.
“The forest resources in the district have been destructed due to the haphazard construction of roads. The local units must pay heed to this—their development projects are neither helping the locals nor the environment,” said Bista.
Thir Bahadur Karki, chief at the Division Forest Office, said that a large area of national and community forests have been destroyed in the name of constructing roads.
“A majority of water sources have dried up and many settlements are at risk of landslides and soil erosion,” said Karki.
Meanwhile, most of the people’s representatives said that they plan to upgrade some more rural roads in the running fiscal year. Nim Bahadur KC, chairman of Darma Rural Municipality, said that his office plans to upgrade dirt roads and upgrade them to motorable ones in monsoon. “Dry season is not a problem but we now have to move ahead with road projects targetting the monsoon season,” he said.