Mudhe-Charikot road upgradation remains incomplete even after six yearsWork began in 2015 but is nowhere near completion because of the negligence of the construction companies.
The Mudhe-Charikot stretch of the Lamosanghu-Jiri road that connects Dolakha with Kathmandu is in a dilapidated condition due to delayed road upgradation work.
The road upgradation work along the 30km Mudhe-Charikot section began in 2015 but the project is nowhere near completion because of the sheer negligence of the construction companies. The local residents even complain that the upgradation work has further deteriorated the road’s condition.
“Traveling along the dilapidated road section is not easy and the government authorities are indifferent to the hardships faced by people due to the poor road condition. All people have been affected but it’s those needing immediate medical care that have been hit the hardest,” said Januka Neupane of Charikot, the district headquarters of Dolakha. “One has to charter a helicopter in case of health emergencies. Those who can’t afford to charter a helicopter might be deprived of medical care.”
According to Neupane, it takes around eight hours, sometimes even the whole day, to arrive at Charikot from Kathmandu.
“If the road were in a good condition, it wouldn’t take more than four hours to travel from Kathmandu to Charikot,” she said.
Two Indian construction companies— Shakeel Haider and Shankarmali— along with the Nepali company Sunaula Khimti JV had been awarded the road project. The construction companies had initiated the upgradation work along the Mudhe-Charikot section with a budget of Rs 790 million six years ago. Works along 25 km of the road section were completed last year following pressure from the public and various quarters.
The Export-Import Bank of India provided Rs 1.1 billion for the upgradation of the 110km-long Lamosanghu-Jiri road, which was constructed around four decades ago with the assistance of the Swiss government.
Besides the local population, tourists visiting Kalinchowk, Bhimeshwar, Charikot, Jiri and Sailung among other tourist destinations in Dolakha have been greatly affected by the poor road condition.
The road condition is so bad that public vehicles often break down and need to be repaired frequently, say transport entrepreneurs.
“Bus operators haven’t bought any new vehicles to run along the road for the past four years. It is difficult to manage the operating costs, as large sums of money have to be spent on vehicle maintenance,” said Rabin Karki, a transportation entrepreneur in Charikot.
The contract agreement of the Lamosanghu-Jiri road has been extended thrice already. Six officers have taken the helm of the Lamosanghu-Jiri road project in the past six years but none of them succeeded in expediting work and improving the road condition, local residents say.
Meanwhile, Krishna Pant, the present chief of the road project, said the construction companies were asked to bury the potholes along the road to ease vehicular movement during the festive season.