Kanti Highway upgrade likely to finish by Oct

- PRATAP BISTA, HETAUDA

Apr 17, 2018-Kanti Highway upgradation project is nearing the finish line and is likely to come into operation by October. Nearly six decades have passed since the highway connecting Kathmandu with Hetauda and Birgunj was constructed.

The upgradation of 88-kilometre Kanti Highway, originally slated to be completed by mid-April, had been delayed due to shortage of explosives. “The highway will see cargo and passenger vehicles plying by October,” said Devendra Sah, chief of the road project. “By October, except for a 5.5 km-long section, the entire road will be blacktopped.”  

He said that by this fiscal year, ending mid-July, 26 km highway section in Makwanpur and 12 km section in Lalitpur would be blacktopped.  As of now, blacktopping of 15 km section in Hetauda and 4 km in Lalitpur has already been completed. The remaining road will be blacktopped by October. 

According to Sah, due to the shortage of explosives, it has become difficult to expand a 1.5 km road section in Makwanpur and 4 km section in Lalitpur. These are the most  treacherous sections as due to cliffs beside the road. “We need explosives to blast this treacherous section to expand the road.”

Although, nine months of the current fiscal year has passed, the project has been facing difficulties to complete the 5.5km stretch. “We will soon issue tender inviting contractors to upgrade the remaining stretch of the highway,” said Sah. 

Chuchehola- Jitpur Bhanjyang road has already been widened and provision for drainage has also been fixed. Currently, the project has been constructing the road in 13 different packages. 

All works have been completed except the blacktopping. The budget for the current fiscal year has allocated Rs600 million for the purpose of blacktopping the highway. Once completed, vehicles can drive at an average speed of 30 kilometres per hour ensuring that people get to commute from Satdobato, Lalitpur to Hetauda in just three hours.

The project has estimated a cost of Rs850 million in Makwanpur section and more than Rs1 billion in Lalitpur section.

Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, the then King of Nepal himself drove to Hetauda from Kathmandu after the opening of the highway in 1959.  

 

Published: 17-04-2018 08:21

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