| March 21, 2019

Dharan-Chatara-Sindhuli-Hetauda road to be blacktopped within 3 yrs

KATHMANDU, Jan 18: The government has decided to build a double-lane blacktopped road that links Dharan with Hetauda via Chatara, Gaighat and Sindhuli within three years.

Upon completion, the 318-kilometer road will be the third longest road in the country after the East-West Highway and Mid-Hills Highway. The road is expected to work as an alternative linkage of Tarai with Kathmadu and also fuel economic activities in inner Tarai, according to government officials.

A meeting of High-level Committee on Infrastructure Projects' Monitoring and Direction led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) Bijay Kumar Gachhadar held on January 6 decided to build the road within three years.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy Top Bahadur Raymajhi, Minister for Finance Bishnu Prasad Paudel, and Minister of State for Urban Development Manju Kumari Chaudhari are among the members of the special committee formed by the government to expedite development projects as well as settle issues faced by development projects.

Track opening work of the road began after the Madhes Movement of 2007 to establish alternative linkage between Kathmandu and Tarai districts. "Road widening work as well as construction of bridges over Bagmati and Kamala rivers as well as three other small bridges are going on," according to Jitendra Shakya, manager of project.

The project has been designated as 'Priority One' project in the regular budget program. The government has earmarked Rs 250 million for the project in the current fiscal year.

"With the new decision to complete the road project in three years, we will seek more budgets and begin tender process," added Shakya.

The road is important in perspective of national integration as well as it connects Province No. 1 with Province No. 3, says Gopi Nath Mainali, joint secretary of National Planning Commission. "It will have more significance in federal Nepal," he added. He further added that the process for approving the budget and program for the project will start soon. "There is no dearth of resources as development budget has remained unspent this year. We will put efforts to allocate more budgets for the project," added Mainali.

Former Secretary of MoPIT Tulsi Prasad Sitaula said the project can be completed within three years as Detailed Project Report (DPR) is already ready.

The estimated cost for the project as per the study conducted in 2009 is Rs 11 billion.

The high-level committee has also decided to build a two-lane road linking Khandbhari of Sankhuwasabha with Kimathanaka along Nepal-China border. The road is a part of Koshi Corridor - a national pride project. Upon completion, this will be the third trade route between Nepal and China after the Galchhi-Rasuwagadhi and Kathmandu-Tatopani roads. The government has already decided to upgrade Galchhi-Rasuwagadhi road into a double-lane blacktopped road.

Gopal Prasad Sigdel, joint secretary of Department of Roads, said they need to open track on 80-km segment of Sankhuwasabha-Kimathanka road. "We will now design the project as a double-lane road," he said.

At present, the road is of intermediate level or of 5.5 meters width. Now, it width will be increased to 7 meters.