Road upgradation work along Lamosanghu-Jiri left incomplete for four yearsThousands of passengers travelling home for Dashain celebrations are hit hardest by the dilapidated road.
It has been four years since road upgradation work along the 110km Lamosanghu-Jiri section began, but the project is nowhere near completetion. Locals complain that the expansion work has further deteriorated the road condition.
Thousands of passengers travelling home for Dashain celebrations are hit hardest by the dilapidated road. Vehicles often get trapped in the road— which is muddy and full of potholes, leaving passengers to deboard and make their way through the mud.
Hari Shrestha, who was on his way to Dolakha Bazaar on Wednesday, said he had to carry stones from roadsides to cover the potholes so that the bus could pass through. Many other passengers had to push the vehicle, he said.
“My visit home was scheduled during the monsoon, but I postponed it fearing poor road conditions. But the road condition has not improved at all,” Shrestha said. “We don’t know when we will reach our destination.”
Before the road project took off, it took about six hours to reach Charikot, the district headquarters of Dolakha, from Kathmandu. But now, it takes an entire day, said Shrestha.
Around 100 public vehicles operate on the road daily. The traffic is heavier these days because of Dashain.
“About 10,000 people are returning home by this road,” said Rabin Chaulagain, who works at a ticket counter in Charikot.
Two Indian construction companies—Sakeel Haider and Simanchal—have been working on the road upgradation in coordination with Nepali joint venture company. The Export-Import Bank of India funded Rs 1.1 billion for the road project.
The Nepali contractor of the project, Gauriparbati, argued that the delay in road construction was caused by untimely budget allocation by the government.
Prior to this, the project was awarded to Sunaulo Khimti, a construction company. But the government took action against the company one-and-a-half-years ago, as it failed to complete work on time.
The construction of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project has also been affected by the poor condition of the road.
“The cost of the hydropower project has increased mainly due to the road condition. The power project has been facing difficulties in transporting goods. The government should pay more attention to complete the road upgradation project on time,” said Pashupati Chaulagain, a federal lawmaker representing Dolakha district.