Construction of Jomsom bridge gathers pace

- BINOD TRIPATHI, MUSTANG
The bridge is on the Kaligandaki corridor of the Korala Highway. People are using suspension and wooden bridges instead

Mar 5, 2017-Construction work on Jomsom bridge has finally gathered pace after the Indian embassy directed the contracting company to complete the project within a few weeks. The bridge is being built in Jomsom bazaar over the Kaligandaki river with Indian financial assistance. 

The construction of the bridge has been left incomplete for the last five years. The contractor has been delaying the construction work citing that the embassy had not allocated the money on time. The project was supposed to be completed in April 2013, but its deadline was extended by three years. 

According to the District Development Committee (DDC), the total cost of the project is Rs 450 million. “Now, the embassy has directed the contracting company to finish construction work soon. Concreting of the bridge will be completed within this week. The vehicles will start to ply the road by April 2017,” said Rabindra Tiwari, chief engineer of the DDC.

The bridge is the main part of Kaligandaki corridor along the Korala Highway. People have been relying on suspension bridge and wooden bridge to cross the river until now. As there is no permanent bridge, vehicles heading towards Muktinath and Korala take risk while crossing the river. During monsoon, the vehicular movement along the highway is often obstructed due to the rain-swollen river. 

According to the DDC, the construction work had come to a halt during winter as well. “We could not purchase construction materials after the embassy delayed to allocate money,” said Om Shrestha of BP Jaya Om Construction Services Pvt Ltd, the contracting company. 

“Had the embassy provided money on time, the construction work would have been completed a year ago. It’s been five months since the embassy last released the funds. I have deployed workers on credit,” said Shrestha. But the embassy has told the contractor that it would release the money within two months of the completion date.

Published: 05-03-2017 08:56

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