Trees being chopped for Muglin-Pokhara road expansion drive


January 28, 2022


Trees being chopped for Muglin-Pokhara road expansion drive

A file photo of Tanahun.

DAMAULI: Trees are being cut down in an expedited manner along the Tanahu section under Muglin-Pokhara road expansion drive. Tress along the right and left sides of the road at Tanahu section along Prithvi Highway are being chopped down.

Chief of Muglin-Pokhara road project (eastern section), Narendra Subedi, said that they have started to fell trees along the road section under the project to expand Muglin-Pokhara road into four-lane. Around 50 percent trees from Jamune to Aanbukhaireni along the eastern section have already been felled, he added.

Subedi further said the project has been forwarded the activities to widen road. Out of 3,163 tress that should be chopped down along the Jamune-Pokhara section, 1,800 trees have been cut down so far. Activities to shift electric poles and removing huts would be carried out after cutting down of trees.

A total of 6,750 trees should be cut down at Tanahu section in course of road expansion. The road project would hand over the trees to forest offices after chopping down, said Assistant Forest Officer at the Division Forest Office, Kashiraj Pandit.

The road expansion project has been forwarded dividing it into two sections —Jamune-Aanbukhaireni and Jamune-Pokhara. The map of this road was prepared in 1969. It is being expanded to a four-lane highway with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) due to the high traffic.

Prithvi Highway that links Kathmandu and Pokhara was built with Chinese assistance and was completed in 1974. Being one of the busiest highways in the country, it faces frequent traffic jams. The highway traffic is expected to ease once the project is completed. The expansion of the 80-kilometre road is contracted out by dividing it into two sections.

The contract for upgrading of the 41.45 kilometres Aanbukhaireni-Jamune eastern sector has been given to China Communication Construction while the contract for the 39 kilometres Jamune-Pokhara western section has been given to a Chinese company- Anhui Kaiyuan Highway and Bridge Company.

The contract for the Aanbukhaireni-Jamune East section is worth Rs 6 billion 213 million 113 thousand while the contract for the Jamune-Pokhara western section is worth Rs 7 billion 404 million 600 thousand. The highway would be expanded 25 metres on both sides. It will be 41 metres wide when passing through dense settlements.

As per its design, it will be 41 metres wide in Damauli and Dumre Bazaar of Tanahu while it will be 46 metres wide from Dulegaunda to Khairenitar Bazaar as well as from Kotre Bazaar area and from Gagangaunda to Pokhara of Kaski.

New bridges would be constructed in place of the existing bridges when the road is expanded into four-lane. Accordingly, 31 new motorable bridges will have to be constructed along the 80 kilometres distance from Aanbukhaireni to Pokhara.

In October 2019, the Asian Development Bank had approved a loan of $195 million to upgrade the 81-km Pokhara-Aanbukhaireni section of Prithvi Highway into four lanes. The government is supposed to invest $59 million into the project as a counterpart fund.

(Krishna Neupane/RSS)