Shoddy repair work causes potholes to reappear along Nayabazar-Balaju roadDepartment of Roads claims more than 60 percent of potholes in Kathmandu Valley have been set right.
Despite the Department of Roads’ claims on speeding up road repair works with the aim to complete plugging all the potholes in the Valley by next month, the city’s residents, especially those who live in the area between Nayabazar and Balaju Chowk, have complained of shoddy blacktopping of broken stretches.
The department last week refilled potholes on the Nayabazar-Balaju stretch but on the very day, due to poor workmanship, the loose asphalt came off, said the residents.
Speaking to the media this week, Keshav Kumar Sharma, director-general of the department, claimed that more than 60 percent of the potholes in Kathmandu Valley had already been filled up. But, the evidence does not support Sharma’s claims.
“Once we saw the road officials coming and filling up the potholes, we were hopeful. But just after a few hours of filing up those potholes, the aggregate and tarmac started to loosen, and it’s now the same broken road as before,” said Narayan Pariyar, 35, who runs a ladies wear shop in Nayabazar.
Walking down the road for a few minutes from Praiyar’s shop to Balaju Chowk, one can see numerous potholes with evidence of asphalt topping gone bad.
“The department has refilled this road section on several occasions as if they were performing a ritual. They are pouring in money with zero return. These potholes were filled last Friday, but look, they have reappeared,” said Adit Bohara, who runs a bike-exchange shop in Nayabazar.
“When it rains, these potholes are filled with water and on sunny days with dust. How long can we tolerate this?” the 37-year old asked.
It’s not just Pariyar and Bohara. Commuters, bus drivers and shop owners in the area are also unhappy with the work of the road department.
“The Baudha-Jorpati road section is more treacherous, and the people living in the area have been raising their voices against it. There are many potholes in this road section, which they never properly fix and this has led to our vehicles to be damaged,” said Soam Nepali, a micro driver, who drives on the Ratnapark-Boharatar route.
Shiva Hari Sapkota, the information officer at the roads department, blamed the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited for not changing the damaged water pipelines. “Until the old pipelines are changed, this problem will remain,” said Sapkota. He added that the problem is the same in other places like Lazimpat, Putalisadak, Gaushala, and the Amrit Science Campus area.
However, Mukuna Rijal, the ward-16 chairperson, said, this is just a blame game being played out. “They filled the potholes just for the sake of doing it. There is big financial embezzlement going on. As the ward chairperson, I have raised the issue, but nobody listens. But, I know, the people are suffering a lot,” said Rijal.
When the Post contacted the contractor, Ashok Shakya, he blamed old pipelines and leaking water for the damaged roads. “More than that, the day we filled the potholes, it was very cold, and in cold weather, the asphalt doesn’t gel well.”