Gokuleshwor-Khalanga road still remains neglectedThe construction of the road stretch started under the Panchayat government. However, the track is yet to be completed.
The Gokuleshwor-Dethala-Khar-Dallek-Khalanga road, an alternative road to the Mahakali Highway, lies in a neglected state though its construction started around three decades ago.
The locals of the area complain that the authorities concerned did not prioritise the road, which is the shortest route to link Gokuleshwor with Khalanga, the district headquarters of Darchula. As the route, which is just 44 kilometres long, lies incomplete and in a sorry state, the alternative 72-kilometre-long stretch of the Mahakali Highway is now in operation from Khalanga to Gokuleshwor.
“The federal, provincial and local governments never prioritised the route. The Gokuleshwor-Dethala-Khar-Dallek-Khalanga track links various places of Mahakali Municipality, Shailyashikhar Municipality and Naugad Rural Municipality. But the local bodies have not allocated budget to upgrade the road stretch,” said Prem Singh Thagunna, a resident of Naugad-3.
The construction of the road stretch started under the Panchayat government. However, the track is yet to be completed.
Karbir Singh Karki, chief at the District Coordination Committee, said that the road is in a dilapidated state because the Department of Roads has not allocated enough budget to the project.
“The limited budget of the local units is not sufficient to upgrade the road section,” said Karki.
The Decentralised Rural Infrastructure and Livelihood Project opened the track of the incomplete Gokuleshwor-Dethala-Khar-Dallek-Khalanga stretch five years ago. “The track is not motorable during the rainy season. Mahakali Municipality and Naugad Rural Municipality had allocated budget to upgrade the track, but the budget was not sufficient,” said Karki, urging authorities to include the road project in the priority list.
Meanwhile, according to Karki, some lawmakers of Sudurpaschim Province had informed the DCC that the provincial government has managed to secure budget for the road’s upgradation.
“However, we are yet to know the amount allocated for the road project,” he added.
The Division Road Office in Baitadi claimed that the upgradation work of the Gokuleshwor-Dethala-Khar-Dallek-Khalanga section is underway. According to the office, the gravelling and blacktopping works are underway along the Sukekhola-Dhuligad stretch in the current fiscal year. The division, however, admitted to delays in its upgradation work.