Nepal’s longest bridge set to open this week

- RAJENDRA NATH, KAMAL PANTHI, BARDIYA
Nepal’s longest bridge set to open this week

Sep 20, 2014-

Bhadai Tharu of Kothiyaghat in the district still fondly remembers the moment when he received goggles from Oscar winning US actor and film producer Leonardo DiCaprio for helping the latter cross the local Geruwa river on a boat some years ago.

Bhadai was wearing the same goggles as he was paddling his bicycle along a bridge that has recently constructed over the river. “I know I would never have received the gift from DiCaprio had this bridge been constructed years ago. But the bridge greatly helped people cross the river,” he said.

The bridge at Kothiyaghat connects people in five VDCs of the Rajapur area, surrounded by the Karnali river, to the outside world.

The 1,015-meter bridge, constructed at the cost of around Rs 1 billion and said to be Nepal’s longest one, the came into operation recently. Currently, only pedestrians, cycles and motorcycles are allowed to use the bridge.

Earlier, local people had to use boats to cross the river, risking their lives. Bhadai said he himself saw many people being swept away while crossing the river. “Now I feel our woes have gone with the new bridge,” he said, adding that the locals will benefit from the bridge in various ways such as supplying agricultural products to the market.

Started on November 2, 2010 with an aim to complete it in five year’s time, the bridge was completed 10 months before the deadline. The bridge is scheduled to be inaugurated on coming Wednesday.

“The bridge was constructed, using local resources and a new technology was adopted,” Umesh Jha, chief of the construction project, said. The area is 25 kilometres west of Bardiya’s district headquarters Gulariya.

Another 520-meter bridge is under construction at Rajapur-Sattighat, which will connect Bardiya to Kailali upon its completion.

Published: 21-09-2014 08:56

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