Trees halt construction of highway in KailaliConstruction of 62-kilometre segment of the Postal Highway’s western section has stopped because the authorities’ inability to remove trees within 2kms area of Basanta region in Kailali district.
Construction of 62-kilometre segment of the Postal Highway’s western section has stopped because the authorities’ inability to remove trees within 2kms area of Basanta region in Kailali district.
The contractor had agreed to complete the construction of the road two years ago.
Postal Highway engineer Narendra Ojha said the project office is cutting trees within 2kms area in Basanta. The 2kms area of Basanta lies in a biological corridor.
“Currently, the contractor company works in the 16-kms segment of the road,” said Ojha.
The Indian government funded the first phase of construction work in Kailali.
In the first phase of the construction, Indian Company GR Gawat won the contract to construct 61.7 kms of Postal Highway from Dhangadhi-Bhajani to Satti-Khakraula in six packages. However, the construction work has not picked momentum. People are compelled to walk along the dusty road.
Punarbas Municipality Deputy Mayor Sharada Bist Sharma said, “It is difficult to walk on the dusty road. Dust covers houses near the road. People face difficulty due to the pebbles and soil deposited on the road. The situation of Dokebazar-Belauri, Belauri-Beldadi, Beldadi-Daiji roads is also similar.”
Blaming the contractor for the slow progress of road construction, another engineer of Postal Highway Padam Madai said, “The contractor companies have not even put gravel on all sections of the road. More than Rs 380 million allocated for the construction of the Postal Highway will be frozen this year as the construction work has stopped.”
The Indian government had invested Rs 8 billion and started the construction of the Postal Highway. The road extends along the length of the country and runs parallel to the southern border.
Similar to Kailali, construction of another 62kms road segment of Postal Highway in Kanchanpur remains incomplete. Though the construction work commenced two and a half year ago, less than 30 percent work is complete.
The Postal Highway, previously used by postal service staff to deliver mail, stretches from the east to the west and is 975 kms long. To link this highway with various districts in Tarai region, 32 different roads of 817 kms in length have to be built. Therefore, building the highway involves constructing 1,792 kms of roads.
Nepal and India signed an agreement to build the first phase of the project in January 2010. Although talks on development of the Postal Highway began back in 1991, concrete steps to build the national pride project were taken in May 2004 when Nepal and India signed an agreement to conduct a study to upgrade roads that link the Postal Highway with various districts in the Tarai. When complete, the highway will link all 20 districts in the Tarai.