There are roads in the remotest villages in Dadeldhura, but none good enough for operationAlmost all local units have been building roads in the name of development, but vehicles cannot operate in most because they are often built without proper homework.
After the formation of the local government, Ganyapadhura Rural Municipality in Dadeldhura district spent more than 70 percent of its development budget in constructing 42 rural roads in the fiscal year 2017/18. In the second fiscal year (2018/19), the local unit spent 60 percent of the development budget in the construction of 17 new rural roads and upgradation of 42 old roads.
In the current fiscal year (2019/20), the rural municipality has allocated more than 60 percent of the development budget for road upgradation work. But vehicles hardly operate on the rural roads. The only road that sees some traffic is the one that connects Ganyapadhura Rural Municipality with KI Singh Highway and Dadeldhura bazaar. The rest of the rural roads have been left unused; the most likely sight you see on these empty roads are mules transporting essential goods.
In Navadurga Rural Municipality, only two rural roads are in operation. Here too, the rural municipal office also spent around 60 to 75 percent of its development budget in the construction of rural roads for the last three years; however, none of the roads (constructed within three fiscal years) is motorable. The construction work of around three dozen roads is ongoing in Navadurga Rural Municipality.
The situation is not limited to these two local units. Almost all local units have been building road stretches in the name of performing ‘development activities’, but vehicles cannot operate in most of the road sections, as they are often built without proper homework.
“We are not happy, although many rural roads networks have been opened,” said Jaya Singh Air, a local of Belpur in Nawadurga Rural Municipality, adding that they had expected the roads to be a boon for their local unit but their expectations have shattered now.
Two years ago, local entrepreneurs, who were involved with operating mules for transportation, were out of jobs after the majority of local units started opening road stretches in remote areas. But this traditional mode of transportation has been almost revived in most of the areas due to the pitiable condition of the rural roads.
“More than 200 mules were used to ferry food items like rice, salt, sugar, oil, and beaten rice to the remote areas before the opening of rural road networks,” said Sher Bahadur Malla, a local entrepreneur of Gangkhet.
ND Prakash Highway, Ugratara-Melali road, Pokhara-Belapur-Seti road, and Budar-Jogbudha road are the few motorable roads in Dadeldhura.
“We are facing a lot of problems due to the absence of proper roadways in remote areas,” said Bhojraj Bhatta, a former teacher of Koteli, blaming that people representatives have made rural roads as their begging bowls. “The construction of rural roads have become useless, as villagers in the remote areas are still compelled to walk over hills carrying sacks on their backs. Due to lack of road connectivity, farmers are unable to send their harvests to market,” he said. The roads that are being built are too far away from settlements and make little sense, according to locals.
Padamraj Bohara, deputy chief of Bhageshwor Rural Municipality, however, accepted that they could not develop the rural roads into motorable roads. He said, “We are requesting the provincial government to look into the situation.”