Butwal-Narayanghat road expansion project stares at delayWork to expand the two-lane road to six lanes began two years ago, but only a fraction has been completed.
The Butwal-Narayanghat road expansion project has failed to gain momentum since its initiation two years ago. According to road project officials, the delay in the road expansion work has been caused due to the contractor’s negligence.
In February 2019, the Department of Roads had signed an agreement with China State Construction Engineering Corporation to implement the road project. As per the plan, the existing two-lane road has to be upgraded to six lanes within the next four years.
The contractor had initiated the construction work in two sections of the Butwal-Narayanghat road—48km Daunne-Gaidakot section and 66-km Daunne-Butwal section.
“The expansion work of the road has been delayed due to the negligence of the Chinese contractor company. We have been requesting the contractor to speed up the work but they have not been very responsive to our request,” said Hari Acharya, an engineer of the Daunne-Gaidakot road section of the project.
In the first phase, the contractor had started the construction work of 250 bridges along the Daunne-Gaidakot road section and 150 bridges along the Daunne-Butwal road section.
Since the initiation of the road expansion project, the Butwal-Narayanghat section has also become accident-prone due to poor visibility caused by dust clouds kicked up by passing vehicles. The condition is particularly poor along the Daunne road stretch between Dumkibas and Bardaghat, as it takes more than three hours for vehicles to pass through the 14km stretch.
“The contractor had agreed to spray water on the road section to control dust pollution. But they are not doing so. Normal life has been affected in Daunne and other bazaar areas because of dust pollution,” said Acharya, adding that the project had also notified the Prime Minister’s Office and other concerned ministries about the matter.
The Post tried to contact Chen, acting contract manager of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation, to ask about the road’s expansion and maintenance works but he was not available for comment.
“The local residents have been requesting the authorities to spray water on the road to control dust pollution. But the contractor did not even listen to the request of the District Administration Office,” said Dambar Bahadur GC, chairman of Binayi Tribeni Rural Municipality.
The government has allocated Rs16.99 billion, of which 85 percent will be covered by loan assistance from the Asian Development Bank, for the road expansion work along the 114km Butwal-Narayanghat stretch.