Local residents concerned about shoddy work on Jayaprithvi HighwayThe asphalted road along Tamail-Bhopur section of the highway has suffered damages a week after it underwent upgradation works.
The local residents and other stakeholders have expressed their concerns about the shoddy road upgradation work along Jayaprithvi Highway.
The asphalted road along the Tamail-Bhopur section of the highway has suffered damages a week after it underwent upgradation works. The stakeholders have urged the authorities concerned to investigate the incident and take action against the guilty.
“The asphalt has started to come off in just a week. The road does not look like it was upgraded recently,” said Bikram Thapa, a driver who regularly drives his bus along the highway.
Jaljala Construction Company was awarded the repair and upgradation contract for the 13-km long Tamail-Bhopur road stretch near Chainpur, the district headquarters of Bajhang.
The local residents say the concerned authorities’ indifference to the quality of work done has allowed the contractor to do a shoddy job. Some accuse the authorities of working in collusion with the contractor for profit.
“How can they get away with such shoddy work? The contractor does not feel accountable to the local residents or the authorities in charge, which raises suspicions that the contractor and the local authorities are working hand in glove,” said Jiban Singh, a resident of Jayaprithvi Municipality-7.
The local youths and student organisations have drawn the attention of the District Administration Office regarding the poor quality of the upgradation road and possible irregularities on the contractor’s side.
“The road from Bagthala to Chainpur was recently asphalted but it looks the same as before. We have informed the local administration, as the authorities concerned remained indifferent despite witnessing the inferior upgradation work,” said Pushpalal Rokaya, the district chief of the All Nepal National Free Students’ Union. He warned of staging stringent protests if the authorities fail to take action against the contractor at the earliest.
Bowing to the public pressure, the district administration office has directed the Division Road Office to probe into the incident immediately. A technical team from the Division Road Office made a field visit on Sunday following instructions from the administration. The team blamed the construction company for the substandard works.
“The contractor was found carrying out shoddy works while asphalting the road. We have directed the contractor to remove the asphalt and blacktop the road again. We asked the contractor not to initiate another work until it asphalts the same road section again,” said Barkha Bahadur Kathayat, an engineer at the Division Road Office.
The District Administration Office has also vowed to take action if the contractor is found guilty.
“We have directed the Division Road Office to probe into the incident after receiving complaints from the local residents. We are also monitoring the road upgradation work. Action will be taken against the contractor if found guilty,” said Chief District Officer Kamalraj Bhandari.
The road upgradation work of the 108-km long highway from Khodpe in Baitadi district to Chainpur started last fiscal year at the cost of Rs 200 million. Jaljala, Jagriti Construction Service and Gwallek Construction Company were awarded the contracts to upgrade the highway. The upgradation work is supposed to be completed by the end of the current fiscal year.