Delayed 6-lane road project adds to dust pollution woes

- Bedraj Paudel, ITAHARI
In five years, the project contractor has completed only 32 percent work of the 29.6 km Biratnagar (Rani)-Itahari road

Nov 17, 2016-The construction of six-lane Biratnagar (Rani)-Itahari road, which has already fallen a year behind schedule, is expected to take two more years to complete, much to the annoyance of the people living near the road who have been dealing with dust pollution ever since the project began in the fiscal year 2011/12.  

In five years, the project contractor has completed only 32 percent work of the 29.6 km road. The project chief, Dip Kumar Bhattarai, claimed that the delay was manly caused because the government was not allocating budget on time. The April and May earthquakes of 2015 and the subsequent Madhes movement and the border blockade imposed by India were also the factors behind the delay, he added.

More than anyone, the incomplete project has affected the people living next to the road. Day in, day out they are being exposed to the dust stirred up from construction, vehicles passing through and the wind.  

Sushila Sapkota, a resident of Kanchanbari, said the people in her neighbourhood are worried that they might suffer from respiratory diseases.

The locals have repeatedly voiced their concerns about pollution and its effects on public health before the authorities.

The residents of Kanchanbari and the other places affected by the construction cannot wait for the construction to complete at the earliest. 

According to Bhattarai, they plan to complete the work along the 12 km road section between Bargachi and Dhat this year which should address the pollution problem to a certain extent.

Published: 17-11-2016 08:06

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