Keladighat bridge nears completion

- MADHAV ARYAL, PURNA BK, JANU PANGENI, PALPA/TANAHUN/SYANGJA
Keladighat bridge nears completion

Apr 26, 2014-

After a delay for about three years, a motorable bridge over the Kaligandaki river in Keladighat has reached its final stage of construction. The 166 metre long and 4.25 metre wide steel truss bridge, connecting Sankhar of Syangja in the north with Darcha of Palpa in the south, is being constructed under the a Department of Roads project with an aim of benefitting approximately 10,000 people in Palpa, Syangja, Tanahun, and Nawalparasi districts.

According to Karna Bahadur Ranabhat, Division Road Office chief, installation of decks and some final touches are left to complete the bridge. He said bridge will be inaugurated within the Nepali month of Baisakh.

The bridge slated to be completed within six months from its commencement towards the end of July, 2011 was delayed due to the erroneous estimate by the consultant company, Road Division Engineer Prakash Poudel said. The estimate for the bridge was completed in 2007 and an agreement for its construction was reached in July, 2008. The consultant company had estimated 96 tonnes of steel for the completion of one span against the required 152 tonnes and as a result its cost increased later. Sharma-Rasuwa-Sapana-Hindu Joint Venture Construction Company is contracted for the bridge construction.

Presently, locals of Rampur have to travel 65 kilometres to reach Tansen and travel to via Butwal or Pokhara to reach Narayangadh and Kathmandu. The bridge, however, will directly connect Pokhara to the Mahendra Highway in Nawalparasi via Tanahun and Palpa, shortening the travel distance for people in the area. The bridge will shorten the distance by 70 kilometres for locals to reach Pokhara and by 120 kilometres to reach the Capital. “We will reach Kathmandu for around Rs 750 against the existing bus fare of Rs 1,050,” said Krishna Kumar Aryal of Rampur.

The bridge will not only benefit residents in the eastern Palpa but also those living in south-western region of Tanahun, hilly area of Nawalparasi and over a dozen VDCs in the western part of Syangja. The bridge will facilitate locals to supply their production, including vegetable, fruit, and herbs, to Tarai districts. Meanwhile, stating that the completion of the bridge will ease traffic along the Mugling road section, local trader Samundra Ram Shrestha said the bridge will benefit businessmen of Tanahun and Kaski as well as tourists visiting the area.

Rajan Pokhrel of Gajarkot, a village near the bridge, the government should now prioritise development of roads in the region.

Published: 27-04-2014 08:58

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