Bardiya folk await new Babai bridge

- KAMAL PANTHI, Gulariya
Bardiya folk await new Babai bridge

Feb 21, 2015-

Local people at Sonashri VDC in the district have been forced to use boats to cross the Babai river as a suspension bridge at Kusumbaghat, which was washed away by floods in August, 2014, is yet to be repaired.

The bridge was swept away barely a month after its completion. According to Phoolpati Chaudhary of Magaragadi, the tendency of boat operators carrying passengers beyond capacity has only aggravated their predicament. Locals alleged that the bridge was swept away owing to the negligence and use of sub-standard materials by MP Construction Company working under the Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads (DOLIDAR). Around Rs 15.9 million was spent in the bridge construction.

Locals said the bridge was constructed at a high risk area and its foundations were built in the area that was eroded every year. However, the contractor and DOLIDAR went ahead with the construction despite potential risks and protests.

According to Purna Sharma, a local resident and former chairperson of CPN-UML district committee, the bridge was handed over by covering the erosion prone area with gravels and stones. “It was unfortunate that the authorities concerned built the bridge despite protests, eventually leading to the incident,” he said. The government had initiated the bridge construction to facilitate travel for locals from Padnaha, Baniyabhar, Magaragadhi to the district headquarters.

Local resident Shankar Tharu said that the authorities concerned were indifferent to their repeated advice that it would be unwise to go ahead with bridge construction before controlling the erosion.

Published: 22-02-2015 07:11

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