By Our Correspondent Chitwan, Apr. 5: Work on two of the 15 bridges to be constructed on Mugling-Narayangadh road section has not started yet even when only eight months are left to complete the project as per the agreement. Two years ago, a contract was signed for the construction of 15 bridges on this road section. Kiran Karki, chief of the Narayangadh-Mugling, Nagdhunga-Mugling road project, said that the construction work of Khahare Khola and Tuin Khola bridges near Mugling has not begun yet despite the agreement to complete the construction by December 2022.
He informed that it was not possible to remove the settlement near the bridge construction site on Khahare Khola due to lack of compensation. There are some houses on the bridge construction site. He said, "We have demanded compensation for their removal. We have not been able to get the budget even though we took initiative a year ago."
Karki informed that there was also a problem in the design as there was a hard rocky hill at the place where the bridge was being built between Tuin Khola and Khahare Khola. He said that it was not possible to construct the bridge in the same way as it was designed earlier. He said that now the design of the bridge has to be modified according to the geography of the place, which also delayed the construction.
Of the 13 bridges under construction, five bridges in Dumre Khola, Seti Dobhan, Khahare Khola 2, Bhorle and Dasdhunga will be completed by July, 2022, said Karki. The work of the bridges being constructed along the road section has been contracted in two parts. The Narayangadh-Mugling Road Project has started the work by making seven bridges from Khahare Khola near Mugling to Rigdi Khola Package-1 and eight bridges from Jugedi to Simaltal Package-2.
Despite the low progress of Package-1, the work on Package-2 is about 80 per cent, said Karki. The construction agreement has been signed at a cost of Rs. 679.95 million for Package-1 and Rs. 595.59 million for Package-2. There bridges will be nine-meter wide and others will be 11-meter wide. Most old bridges were six-meter wide.
Just two years after the road were widened to at least nine meters, the bridges are still narrow, which has increased the risk of accidents. According to the project, it currently takes an average of 30 minutes for a vehicle to cross this section and 10 minutes will take to cross when all the bridges are ready.
The road project has said that the work was delayed due to lack of budget. Karki said that only Rs. 150 million has been received for 15 bridges in the current fiscal year. He said, "All the received budget has been spent. The next three months are the time for a lot of work, but I see delays due to inability to pay the construction company." "We have sent a letter demanding an additional budget of Rs. 230 million for the current fiscal year,” he said.