Khotang’s 8-yr wait for bridge endsA bridge connecting Khotang and Okhaldhunga came into operation on Friday, after eight years in limbo.
A bridge connecting Khotang and Okhaldhunga came into operation on Friday, after eight years in limbo.
The bridge constructed over the Dudh Koshi River will serve as a lifeline for Khotang district as it is expected to increase trade and business activities in the area.
Ishwor Rijal, chief of the Road Division Office (RDO), Harkapur, said construction expedited in a view of the elections. With the construction of the bridge, Khotang, along with Bhojpur district, will now have road connectivity with Kathmandu. It is also expected to facilitate people visiting Halesi Mahadev, one of the popular holy sites, in Khotang.
Sarvadhan Rai, a local of Buipaka, said the lack of bridge had been the main hurdle for Khotang’s development. “Albeit late, it has finally come into operation,” he added.
According to the RDO, the bridge was constructed by a joint venture of Kalika and Hulas construction companies at an investment of Rs110 million. “Minor structures of the bridge that are yet to be constructed will soon be completed,” said Rijal.
The newly constructed bridge is 120-metre long and 4.25-metre wide.
Uddav Rana, an engineer, said the “suspension motorable bridge” has been constructed in the modern design.
The bridge construction had been delayed for eight years due to negligence on the part of the contractor.
Two years ago, a bridge over Sunkoshi River connecting Khotang and Okhaldhunga, was constructed after 14 years. People of Khotang were cut off from other districts due to lack of a bridge over Dudh Koshi River. During monsoon, people in Khotang had to wait for a portable bailey bridge. Vehicular movement had to be halted.
Raju Layalu, president of district chamber of commerce and industry in Khotang, said Khotang people had to pay hefty amounts of money for daily essential goods due to the lack of bridge over Dudh Koshi River. “The construction of the bridge is expected to reduce the prices,” he said.
Krishna Ghimire, secretary of the Contractors Association of Nepal, said the bridge could serve as a milestone for the development of Khotang district. “The construction materials in the local market used to be costlier by up to 25 percent due to lack of easy road connectivity,” Ghimire said.
The government had been investing Rs6 million annually to install the portable bailey bridge over the river.