Road track from Kalikot to Humla opens after seven yearsThe construction work has now reached its final stage with only a kilometre of the track to be opened.
The recent opening of a 122km road track from Khulalu in Kalikot to Balukuna in Humla along the Karnali Corridor has eased vehicular movement in the region.
Nepal Army had begun the construction of the road track in March 2015. The construction work has now reached its final stage with only a kilometre of the road track to be opened.
The total length of the road from Khulalu to Salisalla is 123 kilometres.
“The remaining one kilometre of the road track will be opened by mid-May. If everything works as expected, the road section will be handed over to the government within the current fiscal year,” said Major Milan Karki, who is also chief at the Nepal Army Road Construction Task Force in Karnali.
According to him, retaining walls have to be constructed along some parts of the road section while some sections need to be widened. At present, only jeeps and other small vehicles are operating from Khulalu in Kalikot to Balukuna in Humla.
Anga Bahadur Shahi, a resident of Soru Rural Municipality Ward No. 4 in Mugu, says the opening of the road track has eased transportation of daily essentials from Nepalgunj and Surkhet, among other cities. “Our life has become easier now, as local produce has reached market places outside the district,” he said.
The Division Road Office in Jumla is constructing a 35-kilometre road stretch from Salisalla to Simkot, the district headquarters of Humla. The road stretch is also a part of the Karnali Corridor.
Joshi Dhami, the vice-chairperson of Sarkegad Rural Municipality, said that the corridor will come into operation soon after the remaining 16 kilometres road section is completed.
According to Dhami, around 250 workers have been deployed in the road project to complete the work on time. He informed that the responsibility to carry out blast works was given to the army on this section as well.
The estimated budget of the corridor construction is Rs 2.84 billion, out of which around Rs 1.45 billion has been spent so far. Rs 200 million has been allocated for the road project this fiscal year, according to Karki.
Bailey bridges have also been installed in five different places along the Karnali Corridor. The road construction workforce said a sixth bridge is currently under construction. According to Karki, two bridges each have been constructed in Kalikot and Humla while one has been installed in Bajura.