All roads in Birendranagar, the capital of Karnali province, in poor conditionMost of the roads in the city are unmotorable—causing inconvenience for vehicles and pedestrians alike.
Jhapendra Pariyar, who travelled to Surkhet from Humla recently, was taken shocked by the state of the roads in Birendranagar, the capital of Karnali Province. Pariyar has been living in the city to prepare for the public service examination for three months now, and he has still not gotten used to the dusty roads.
“Roads in Birendranagar were not so bad when I visited the city a long time ago. The roads here are now dusty and full of potholes,” said Pariyar.
It’s not just outsiders like Pariyar who feel that the roads in Birendranagar need a major repair job. The local residents are equally exasperated.
“The dusty roads affect movement but more than that, they are starting to affect our health. It’s difficult to breathe while passing through the dusty roads,” said Prem Sunar, a resident of Lekbeshi. “I’m afraid we might suffer from respiratory diseases in the long-run.”
The poor condition of the city roads has also increased the risk of accidents, said Sunar.
“I was hit by an auto-rickshaw when I was trying to make my way across the road, avoiding potholes a few days ago,” said Sunar, informing that he had to get admitted to a hospital for treatment. “Birendranagar is the capital of Karnali Province, but the infrastructure tells a different story. There are no development works befitting a capital city. The local government cannot even repair the damaged roads,” said Sunar.
The provincial and local governments haven’t taken any initiative to repair the damaged roads in Birendranagar although four months have passed since the beginning of the current running fiscal year. Birendranagar Municipal Office has so far only been taking temporary measures, such as filling potholes with soil, to improve the road conditions in the city
According to the municipal office, they have started the tender process for the construction and upgradation of roads.
Basu Paudel, chief at the Infrastructure Development Office in Birendranagar, said that they have started to invite tenders for the project.
“The office has allocated Rs 210 million for the construction and upgradation of the roads in the current fiscal year,” he said.
Bishal Adhikari, an engineer at the municipality, said that they will upgrade all the city roads within mid-April 2020.
“It is not possible to blacktop the road during winter, so we will start construction work after winter is over,” he said.