Bahrabise-Tatopani road section that links Nepal with China in sorry stateRecurring landslides and floods have damaged the road in several places.
The Bahrabise-Tatopani section of the Kodari Highway, a major road that links Nepal with China, is in a dilapidated condition.
The 26 km-long road stretch has been damaged by several monsoon-induced disasters this year. The road has sunk down in various places as the flooded Bhotekoshi river continues to erode its embankments. During the monsoon, vehicular movement along the road section gets obstructed on a regular basis by numerous landslides.
China Railway Construction Group Company had repaired the Baseri-Liping road section, which was damaged in the devastating 2015 earthquakes, two years ago. The highway that was constructed in 1960 with the grant assistance of China is the oldest road connecting Nepal with the northern neighbour.
“The fragile topography weakened by the 2015 earthquakes has led to the occurrence of various landslides along the Bahrabise-Tatopani section,” said Bijaya Kumar Mahato, chief at the Charikot Division Road Office. According to the office, frequent landslides disrupt the vehicular movement at Chaku, Jhirpu, Mahabhir, Sirese, Jambu to Dashkilo, Duguna and Liping in the rainy season.
A technician preferring anonymity said the asphalt concrete has come off in many areas of the road section, as the Chinese company used substandard construction materials while repairing the road. The road started caving in at several places, as the road support was not repaired properly, he added.
China Railway Construction Group Company had spent Rs 1.36 billion to repair the road at 17 places damaged by quake-triggered landslides and floods two years ago, according to the Charikot Division Road Office.
The road has sustained severe damages by floods and landslides this rainy season.
The poor road condition has been the cause of hardships for many locals.
According to the District Traffic Police Office in Sindhupalchok, the Bahrabise-Tatopani road is frequently obstructed by landslides.
“The condition of the road section is not good. Moreover, landslides obstruct the road frequently during the monsoon, leaving locals and travellers in hardship,” said Sub-Inspector Rajesh Kumar Dahal, chief at the district traffic police office.
People’s representatives complain that the authorities concerned are indifferent to improving the road condition.
“We frequented the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the Department of Roads dozens of times, urging them to repair the road section. But they paid no heed to us,” said Raj Kumar Paudel, chairman of Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality.
The locals have urged Agni Prasad Sapkota, speaker of the House of Representatives who was elected from Sindhupalchok, to upgrade the road section.
“We are hopeful that the problem will be resolved soon, as the Speaker has expressed his concerns about it,” said Paudel.