Construction of Madan Bhandari Highway delayed due to disputeResidents of Salkot and Babiyachaur want the highway to be constructed near their settlements.
The construction of the Madan Bhandari Highway has been halted due to a dispute between the residents of Salkot and Babiyachaur in Panchapuri Municipality. The dispute arose as both sides want the highway to be constructed near their settlements, said Panchapuri Municipality Mayor Upendra Thapa.
On Tuesday, both sides obstructed the Baddichaur-Gutu road section demanding their requests be heard.
Locals claim that Nawaraj Rawat, a member of the House of Representatives, and Bindaman Bista, a member of the Provincial Assembly, have not taken any initiative to address the issue. According to Thapa, the budget for the highway’s construction has been freezing for years due to the dispute.
“If not for the dispute, 193km of the road from Baddichaur to Doti would have been blacktopped a long time ago. The construction work has been delayed time and again because of the obstructions created by the two sides,” Thapa said. “The federal government should look into this issue, as the road project falls under its jurisdiction.”
However, Hom Bahadur Ramjali, chairman of Panchapuri Municipality Ward No. 5, said his office is trying its best to settle the issue.
“We have held talks between both sides to reach an agreement,” Ramjali said.
The government has allocated Rs 4.5 billion for the Madan Bhandari Highway. This 1,200-km highway connects the valleys of Chure and inner-Madhesh.
Rajib Jha, managing director of the company responsible for conducting the highway’s detailed project report, said the DPR work of the road project has come to a halt because of the locals’ obstruction.
“We have requested the people’s representatives to solve the issue time and again, but to no avail,” said Jha.