Blacktopping of the postal highway before monsoon

By Sirajuddin Khan, Nepalgunj, May 14: Work has resumed on the construction of the 44-kilometre postal highway from Nepalgunj to Kutkuyiya after resolving multiple disputes regarding mapping and compensation to the local people. The disputes were solved with the support from the local representatives and social organisations.

With work back on track, the Postal Highway Construction Project said that it aimed to complete the first stage of blacktopping the road before coming monsoon.

"Work will completely stop for five months after the monsoon begins, so we aim to finish blacktopping the road before the arrival of the rainy season," said Tulsiram Bhandari, chairman of the Ganapati Group Constructions, which is the construction contractor for the project adding, "We have already blacktopped 17 kilometres of the road and are working on the remaining stretch as well."

He said, "Although the locals are protesting now, they will be happy when they see a nice and wide road passing through their villages."

The locals protested after plans were made to extend the postal highway northwards. But now, a written agreement has been made to not extend the road towards north and compensate the landowners whose land has been acquired for the existing route of the highway, as informed by Bhandari.

A dialogue committee was formed by the Banke District Administration Office. "The dispute was solved through an all-party dialogue," said coordinator of the committee Shukra Rishi Chaulagain adding, "I believe the construction will now pick up pace."

Work on the postal highway began in 2016 and was contracted to Pappu Lumbini JV Constructions. But Pappu sold the contract to Ganapati Group for Rs. 600 million.

Construction of the highway has to be completed by July 2019.

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