By Our Correspondent Hetauda, Jan. 7: Work at the shortest route connecting Hetauda, capital of Bagmati Province, with the federal Capital, Kathmandu, has gained momentum recently. Satungal-Matatirtha-Deurali-Kulekhani road project is currently widening the road and constructing the civil structures on both sides in Kathmandu and Makwanpur district. Distance from Satungal to Kulekhani is only 15 km. Directorate of Transport Infrastructure of Bagmati is carrying out the road upgrading works. The project had begun some two decades ago to build the shortest road connection between the Kathmandu Valley and southern plains but it suffered budget crunch and poor access of the local governments to the project. Spokesperson of the directorate Hari Prasad Ojha said that the works for road widening, construction of wall and sewerage management were undergoing. According to him, the Infrastructure Development Office, Lalitpur is overseeing the work from Chandragiri Municipality-8, Satungal to Makwanpur’s Indra Sarobar Gaunpalika-5, Mahalaxmi Dovan-Chakhel-Deurali section of the road project. It has the responsibility to construct about 8 km road. The road will be 6.5 metres wide with 5.5 metres width. The contractor had started the work in June 2019 with an agreement to complete it in November last year but the project is still incomplete. Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction company had requested for a year’s extension of the deadline. Ojha said that the process to extend the deadline had already been started and the work had also caught speed. Likewise, the work at Dovan-Chakhel-Deurali section would be completed by June 2022. About Rs. 70.3 million is allocated for the construction of road widening and other civil construction work. The Dovan-Deurali section of the road won’t be blacktopped this time. This road starts in Hetauda and passes through Bhimphedi, Kulekhani, Mahalaxmi Bridge, Deurali, Matatirtha and Satungal to reach Kathmandu. The length of the road is 61 km. Other roads connecting Kathmandu with Hetauda are Hetauda-Markhu-Chitlang-Thankot (67 km), Hetauda-Phakhel-Kathmandu (80 km), Hetauda-Sisneri-Kathmandu (82 km), Tribhuvan Highway (132 km) and Prithvi Highway and Mahendra Highway (224 km).