Dharan-Sindhuli-Hetauda road project slows downAccording to project officials, around 75 percent of work along the Dharan-Sindhuli-Hetauda road has been completed so far.
The construction of the Dharan-Sindhuli-Hetauda road, a part of the proposed Madan Bhandari Highway, is moving at a snail’s pace due to disputes on land acquisition, difficult topography, court’s stay order and demands of the local people, officials say.
“The construction of around 15km of road along the 115km long Hetauda-Sindhuli stretch has been halted in seven places due to obstructions caused by various factors,” said Keshab Ojha, information officer at Madan Bhandari Highway Road Project Office in Hetauda.
The government plans to construct the highway from Shantinagar in Jhapa district to Rupal of Dadeldhura district through the Chure region. The construction work of the highway, which is being developed as an alternative to the East-West Highway, is to be completed in the next 10 years. Currently, the 320-km Dharan-Sindhuli-Hetauda section is under construction.
Kalika/Swachchhanda/Ramken JV started the road construction in 2016 with an agreement to complete the 320-km section by July 2020. The government signed the project contract with the joint venture company at the cost of Rs 7.1 billion. Similarly, ZICC/Anak/Lumbini JV has been constructing bridges along the section with a budget of Rs 2.99 billion.
According to project officials, around 75 percent of work along the Dharan-Sindhuli-Hetauda road has been completed so far.
“We can complete the project on time if the disputes are sorted soon,” said Rajesh Paudel, the chief at the road project.
According to the road project office, construction of a 6km-long section from Dhura Bazaar to Khattar in Sindhuli has been halted over a dispute regarding land clearance while around 4km road section in Kharkhola and Hakpara of Sindhuli has been halted due to the difficult topography.
Likewise, the construction along the 4km-long Chisapani-Chaughada road in Hetauda has yet to start due to dispute over land acquisition. A case has been filed in the court over the amount to be provided for land acquisition. The construction of around 2km road that crosses the Kathmandu-Tarai Expressway is also in limbo.
The compensation for acquiring land is the main challenge to complete the road project on time. The road project had already distributed compensation in Bakaiya and Bagmati local units of Makwanpur district and Hariharpurgadhi and Marin of Sindhuli.
“The process of distributing amount for the land acquisition is in the final stage at ward No 16, 17 and 18 of Hetauda Municipality. We have already allocated the amount to the local administrations in both districts,” said Ojha. Around 1,000 households in Makwanpur and Sindhuli are to receive compensation for the land acquired for the road project.