Locals protest road construction delay

Kathmandu, Aug 12: Locals have obstructed vehicular movement along the Balkhu-Dakshinkali Road section at Chobhar on Monday to protest the delay in the construction by the contractors.

Earlier, the big potholes were filled up after a protest was called by the locals and the representatives of Dakshinkali Transportation Committee.

“Our responsibility is to force the concerned authorities to complete the construction work soon,” Pancha Lal Maharjan, a local of Chobhar, said.     

Only 81 per cent work on the Balkhu-Dakshinkali Road Expansion Project that had begun in 2015 has completed in four years. The project should have completed in 24 months.

Although the construction at Chobhar-Taudaha section was said to have completed, the road was damaged in the monsoon rains due to low quality of materials used in the construction.  The entire road section from Chobhar to Dakshinkali has either developed potholes or has debris.

The road turns dusty on the sunny days and muddy during the rainy season due to the delay in completing the road-widening project, causing much inconvenience to the commuters.

The road section from Bansbari to Bhanjyang is also in a miserable condition. The construction work on this section has still remained incomplete.

The construction companies-Simanchal Construction Company Pvt. Ltd of India, Gauri Shankar Parbati/ Sunaula Khimti Construction Pvt. Ltd of Nepali contractors are responsible agents behind the pitiable condition of the road.

The contract for the road construction had been signed on June 3, 2015. The initial estimated cost of the project was Rs. 268.7 million.

The deadline of the signed contract was on October 25, 2017. But when the contractors failed to meet the deadline, it signed s new agreement on June 23, 2019. The contractors had already signed agreement for four times to construct the road.

The project has to provide compensation to 88 households, which are now almost demolished. Of them, 29 households are yet to receive their compensation.

Amrika Balami, spokesperson of Dakshinkali Municipality, said that several land related problems have obstructed the compensation distribution tasks.

The compensation is directly distributed from the central level.

“The municipality is ready to play the role of a mediator to manage such land related problems if central level asked us to resolve the compensation distribution process,” he said.

According to him, the Balkhu-Dakshinkali Road Expansion Project construction process has been obstructed due to the delay in compensation distribution. 

Despite the misearable road condition, hundreds of small vehicles like Tata Sumo jeeps are plying as it is the shortest route to reach Birgunj and other Terai cities from the capital. 

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