On Saturday, Minister Mahaseth inspected the progress of work on the road section. Representatives of Shailung Construction, the main contractor, and officials from the Department of Roads and local journalists accompanied him.
When Maheseth reached the road site, many potholes had expanded virtually into a pond and vehicles plying on the road were splashing the muddy water. Mahaseth vowed to fill all the potholes immediately.
The seven-kilometre road section is in a precarious state for over a half decade. The road expansion work that started in 2015 was supposed to complete between mid-October 2017 and mid-January 2018.
The authority blames its inability to complete work on the earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015 earthquake as well as Supreme Court’s stay order on compensation to house owners.
After government started the road expansion, the plaintiffs (local residents) who had built their houses adjacent to the road filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking relief.
“We waited for the Supreme Court’s verdict. Now that it has given its verdict, there are not many hurdles. People have suffered for five years,” said Mahaseth.
The government would clear up to eight meters of road by August 24. “If the contractor does not do the job by August 28, the government will definitely take action,” the minister warned.
Regarding the compensation for the land-owners affected by the road expansion, Mahaseth said, the government will review the case again in the court.
Residents present during the minister’s surprise visit vented their anger and frustration on the minister for not taking action earlier. Commuters have to deal with thick dust during the sunny days and muddy roads during the rains.
The road section connects two main transit points of Kathmandu - Kalanki and Thankot. The decrepit state of the road stresses commuters every day. They face traffic snarls for hours every day.