Mugling road collapse troubles travellers. Photo: RSS
POKHARA: Almost 40 meters of the important road-section at Satra Kilo and 70 meters at Chabbish Kilo had collapsed of the Narayangadh-Mugling road-section under the Prithvi Highway.
“Edges of the road in many places have also collapsed whereas in some places the road has developed cracks, obstructing the smooth movements of vehicles,” said Shiva Prasad Khanal, an engineer at the Narayangadh-Mugling Road Project Office.
Almost five decades after the road was first built, the government in April 2015 had inked an agreement with the contractor to widen the two-lane road into a four-lane one.
After inking the agreement, the reconstruction work of the road-section had started and it was handed over to the government in three different phases. The reconstruction of the final phase had started on June 10, 2019, and it was handed over to the government on August 9, 2019. To widen and upgrade the 36-kilometer road-section, the World Bank had provided Rs.3.36 billion.
The widening of the road-section was expected to improve vehicular movements in the main highway connecting Kathmandu and Pokhara with the Terai region. But such expectation has now been shattered.
After some sections of the road started collapsing, technicians have drawn the government’s attention to figure out the reasons behind this. “The problem might have occurred because no proper study was carried out before upgrading the road-section. Before carrying out the road construction, we need to understand the soil-structure,” he added.
The collapsed road-sections and broken angle walls needed immediate repair. However, the congested road had been creating a hurdle for its maintenance, he added.
Chief of the Road Division Office Bharatpur Krishna Raj Adhikari said the maintenance of the collapsed road-section was going on.
Landslide preventive measures are being carried out, he added.
“The Narayangadh-Mugling road is always prone to landslide. A landslip has remained a major problem for this road,” said Adhikari.
As the maintenance work is going on at the section, where the road collapsed, vehicles are being allowed to ply only one-way, he said.
Engineer Khanal further added that the office has failed to repair 15 rickety bridges under this road-section. “Just a week ago, a cargo truck fell off the Chijensi bridge. This bridge is congested and in a dilapidated condition,” he added.