Kaligandaki Corridor. Image for Representation.
BAGLUNG: Construction of the section of the Mid-hills Highway, a national pride project, in Baglung district has not been completed even after missing the deadline by three more years.
The local youths are frustrated over the snail’s pace of progress of the national pride project.
Likewise, the Baglung section of another national pride project, the Kaligandaki Corridor Road, is still in the expansion stage. The target was to blacktop it within 2076 BS (two years back).
More, a whole year has passed without any results since the responsibility of asphalting mere 10 kilometers of the 42 kilometers long Baglung section of this road was handed over to the Department of Roads.
The Kaligandaki Corridor Project Office said they are done with the detailed project report (DPR) and are carrying out the environmental impact assessment for the blacktopping works.
With this tardy progress of the so-called national pride projects, the Baglung folks are worried regarding the progress of other smaller infrastructure projects in the district.
Not only these two road projects touted as the ‘lifeline’ of Baglung, but most of the other big projects in the district have also met a similar fate.
Annoyed with the delay and gross negligence in the construction of the Mid-hills Highway, the locals of Bihu have initiated a phase-wise movement saying they were suffering from this.
Dipesh Kandel, a local, said they had to wage a movement as the work which had to be completed in two years was left incomplete even in five years with the ‘ill-intention of making the project a means of making money.
The 25-kilometer Baglung section of the Mid-hills Highway was divided into two sections – Upalla Chaur -Akshyete – Bihu (13 kilometers) section and the Bihu-Ghodabandhe sector (12 kilometers). The contract for the previous section was given to the Bharat Siddhi Sai JV construction company in Magh 2073 BS (five years ago) and that for the latter section was given to MP/SCF/ECC JV in Magh 2072 BS (six years ago).
However, the works on the two sections have not been completed yet despite extending the contract term from time to time. Chief of the Mid-hills Highway Project Office Parbat, Megh Raj Marasini, said although the plan was to blacktop the road from the district headquarters up to Ghodabandhe within this fiscal year, only two kilometers of it has been asphalted due to rain. According to him, the target was to complete it by mid-July.
Similarly, the construction of a modern bus park has missed the deadline even after extending it two times. The estimated cost of this project is Rs 87 million.
The contract for its construction was signed two years back. The work of asphalting the runway of the Balewa Airport has not completed yet. It was begun last year. The project cost is Rs 70 million.
The blacktopping of the Beni-Baglung road has been started after the expiry of the contract term. Under this, the 11 kilometers road from Ramrekha of Baglung to Ratnechaur would be upgraded and blacktopped, the Road Division Office Baglung stated. The contract for this project was signed two years back for Rs 33.7 million with Phewa/BMA JV.