Landslide prevention works of Narayangadh-Muglin road delayedOfficials at the Narayangadh-Muglin Road Project said that the landslide-prevention works along the highway has been delayed.
Officials at the Narayangadh-Muglin Road Project said that the landslide-prevention works along the highway has been delayed.
A recent study carried out by a technical team showed that seven places along the Narayangadh-Muglin road section are prone to landslides. Though the project officials have been asked to complete the landslide-control works before monsoon sets in, the work is yet to start.
Last year, landslide-control works were carried out along the highway from mid-April, 2018, to mid July, 2018.
The 33.2 km Narayangadh-Muglin road stretch has become more vulnerable to landslides after the road widening project, which began in 2015, was completed last year. As per the data of the road project, 414 major landslides have occurred along the section since 2015, disrupting traffic movement for 596 hours. During this period, seven people were killed, 18 injured, and one person, swept away by a landslide, is still missing.
Gaighat, Ghumaune, Bhaludhunga, Jalbire, Charkilo, Topekhola and Kalikhola have been listed as landslide-prone areas along the highway.
“Last year we had conducted landslide-control works along 8,000 square kilometres of the area. This year, we have to work on 24,000 square kilometres more,” said Shiva Khanal, information officer of the project.
“The project has invited tender this month. It will take at least two months to select a contractor company and make agreement to carry out landslide-prevention works,” said Khanal.
Bijaya Rana, a Narayangadh-Pokhara route driver, said they cannot imagine driving along the highway after the continuous rainfall of the last few days.
“Even during the dry season, stones and boulders come rolling off the hills. It’s a risky stretch and the rains have made it riskier now,” Rana said.
The road widening project, which was carried out with Rs3 billion aid from the World Bank, had upgraded and expanded the 33.2 km Narayangadh-Muglin road section to the Asian Highway standards. The road’s width was expanded to 9-11 metres from 5.5 metres.
Rajendra Kumar Piya, a businessman of Narayangadh, said that he has to travel to Kathmandu or Pokhara three to four times in a month.
“The road has been widened but the bridges are still narrow. Travelling on that stretch is risky, especially during monsoons,” said Piya, demanding that the concerned authorities start landslide-prevention works immediately.
The Narayangadh-Muglin road section that links Kathmandu with the Tarai bears the heaviest traffic in the country, accounting for 90 percent of Nepal’s total international trade traffic. More than 10,000 vehicles ply the road every day.