Govt prepares to fire two contractors of Kanti HighwayThe government is planning to take action against two contractors hired to build different sections of Kanti Highway, a road that will significantly reduce travel time between Kathmandu and Hetauda.
The government is planning to take action against two contractors hired to build different sections of Kanti Highway, a road that will significantly reduce travel time between Kathmandu and Hetauda.
The office that is overseeing the road project has warned to take action against and impose fine on Amar Construction and Sunkoshi Biruwa SL, as they are likely to default on their promise of blacktopping two road segments within mid-July.
“Considering the ongoing progress, the two companies are unlikely to meet the mid-July deadline of blacktopping the road segments. If they fail to complete the work, we will have to take necessary action and fine them as well, as their contracts cannot be extended,” said project chief Devendra Sah.
The track of the highway was opened in 1959, following which then king Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev drove to Hetauda from Kathmandu via the route. But the construction of the highway has not been completed even after over 60 years.
Because of this delay, one has to travel 226km to reach Hetauda from Kathamndu via Mugling and Narayanghat. If the road that passes through Palung is taken, one has to travel 136 km from Kathmandu to reach Hetauda.
If the Kanti Highway is built, one will have to travel only 90km to reach Hetauda from Kathmandu. This will significantly reduce travel time between Kathmandu and Hetauda.
The government had hired Amar Construction to widen 9km segment of the highway from Simat to Aale Bhanjyang. The company was hired to do the work for Rs160 million. The work includes construction of sewage canal and drainage along the highway as well. “Although the company has widened the road, it has not completed other works. So, it is unlikely to meet its mid-July deadline of blacktopping the road,” said Sah.
Sunkoshi Biruwa SL, on the other hand, was roped in to widen the road segment that stretches from Kalche of Lalitpur to Devisthan. “The company has not even completely widened the road. So, it is unlikely to meet the mid-July deadline of blacktopping the road segment,” Sah said.
However, one of the engineers of the project, said the two companies could still meet the deadline if they deploy more workers and add construction equipment.
The government was earlier planning to start movement of passenger vehicles on Kanti Highway, which stretches from Satdobato of Lalitpur to Buddha Chowk of Hetauda, in January. But the plan could not materialise due to shortage of explosives to widen some of the road segments and delay made by contractors.
The project office needs explosives to widen tracks in four places of Makwanpur and Lalitpur districts. “Vehicles can move on the highway even if the track is not widened.
But they will create bottlenecks,” said Sah, adding, “Pending works related to blasting and widening of tracks at four locations, we can complete other works within mid-November, meaning vehicles can start moving on the road within that time.”