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Govt urges contractors to expedite road construction


KATHMANDU, April 21: While the government has blacktopped only 15 kilometers of road in the last six months, the government officials have claimed that 90 percent of road construction in all 65 road sections of the road network that is being expanded in Kathmandu and Lalitpur would be completed within the running fiscal year.

The officials have claimed that more than 9 km road construction would be over in first week of May and additional 24 km would be blacktopped by mid-May, according to Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary at the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MoPPW).

The Kathmandu Valley Town Development Authority (KVTDA) is carrying out road expansion along more than 130 km road that were encroached. The road expansion campaign was launched in August 2011 to ease the increasing traffic congestion in the Valley.

The Kathmandu Road Division Office had said that telephone and electricity cables would be set underground during the re-construction and above ground electricity poles would be done away with.

Chief of Kathmandu Town Development Authority Bhai Kaji Tiwari, however, said that the delay in installing electricity poles and laying down water supply pipes were slowing down rebuilding of the roads.

Govt officials on regular inspection

Amid growing complaints from public about the delay in the construction of roads in Kathmandu and Lalitpur, a monitoring team led by the secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister and Minister´s Council has been making regular visits to the construction sites to keep a tab on the progress. The Chairman of the Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi has also instructed the government officials responsible for construction to complete the work as soon as possible.

The leader of the government´s monitoring team, Krishna Hari Banskota, who is the secretary of the office of the prime minister, has asked contractors to speed up construction work on the Airport-Tinkune-Maitighar road section with more priority.

Govt wants private buildings to maintain aesthetics

While the Ministry of Urban Development plans to revive greenery along city roads once they are blacktopped, the new private buildings that are to be built on the expanded areas should add to the green environment, said Banskota during his inspection visits.

After construction of roads, the government would turn its focus on constructing traffic islands and overhead bridges, said Kishor Thapa, secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD).

Widened area turns into parking lot

While the Kathmandu Road Division has graveled some of the extended areas, many of those areas are strewn with dug out drainage pipes, uprooted electricity poles and cables. The vehicle users have been randomly parking vehicles at the expanded areas. However, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has said that they are finding it tough to control the encroachment as the construction work goes on.

First disabled-friendly road

The government officials announced in the initial phase of road expansion that construction of roads along the expanded section would be done considering the problems faced by disabled people. However, the authorities seem to have abandoned that plan later.

Egged on by the National Disabled Federation and Independent Living Center Advocacy, the government for the first time agreed to construct a disabled-friendly road for the convenience of visually impaired and persons with other forms of disabilities.

Disabled-friendly roads are built to aid visually impaired, wheelchair users and persons with various disabilities to move on their own.

The Khagendra Disabled Friendly Road Campaign Implementation Committee, formed to pressurize the government to build disabled-friendly roads has several times staged protests demanding the government to construct disabled-friendly roads.

The first disabled-friendly road will be built on the two sides along the 2 km main road stretching between the main gate of Nepal Disabled Association and Narayantar-Jorpati intersection.

It will be constructed with assistance of various organizations, donor agencies and general public. The government has earlier assured the physically challenged community to allocate 60 percent of the total construction cost on building disabled-friendly road.

Source: Republica Daily
Published on 2013-04-21 07:00:41

About nirjanasharma

Nepali Journalist.

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