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Kodari Highway in sorry state



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Photo - Chitra Mijar

By Chitra Mijar, Sindhupalchowk, Aug. 15: The Kodari Highway connecting Nepal with China is badly damaged by floods and landslides at several places.

The highway has been damaged at several places, including the Kodari section, Liping Bazar, Daklang, Chakubhir, Sirishe and Jambu section after the road surface started caving in. Due to floods at Bhotekoshi and Ghattekhola, landslides and heavy rainfall, the surface of the road started to develop cracks and caves.

The Kodari road section of Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality-2 has been badly damaged in the August 14 landslide. The landslides have swept away road sections stretch 35 metres.

The vehicular movement has been resumed after conducting the repair work. But the repaired highway lasted only for a few days before the surface was again swept away by the recent landslide that occurred from above and below the road. Floods and landslides have rendered the highway impassable.

Raj Kumar Poudel, chairman of Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality, lamented that 60 households in Chowkidanda and Kamidanda located above the road section were at higher risk. The land above the settlement has developed cracks and the road below the settlement is also sinking.

The settlement is at high risk, he added. During every monsoon season, the highway gets damaged by landslides and erosion. Chief of Road Division Office, Charikot Bijay Mahato informed that the road would be resumed after conducting the repair work at the earliest. He, however, said there were high chances that settlements might sink even if the road damaged by the landslide was repaired.

The condition of the highway is deteriorating every year due to landslides and floods. The highway is too dangerous to travel by these days. Settlements located along the Miteri Bridge, 28 kilometres above the Barhabise Bazaar, have been disconnected from other parts of the district after multiple landslides swept away the Kodari Highway. The locals have been facing a problem taking pregnant and critically ill people to hospitals.

The supply of essential goods like food and medicines has been completely halted. Narad Gautam, customs officer of Tatopani Customs, said due to delays in repairing the damaged road, the usual work of clearing cargo through customs has become difficult