Rain disrupts beautification works for BIMSTEC meet

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu

Aug 26, 2018-

Torrential rain has disrupted the schedule of beautifying Kathmandu that is all set to host the 4th Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation Summit (BIMSTEC).

Rain has affected the schedule of Department of Roads (DoR) for maintenance works. As the upgrading task needs to be done when there is no rain or light rain, maintenance work scheduled for off hours, or nighttime, has been rescheduled. Such is the condition that the department has started maintaining roads even during the peak office hours causing traffic jams in Kathmandu.

“It took me around half an hour to cross Maharajgung Chowk from Basundhara,” Shiva Pokhrel, a resident of Dhapashi said. It takes not more than a couple of minutes to cross the road section when the road has moderate traffic. The plight of those commuting via four-wheelers or public vehicle is more appalling.

DoR officials claim they have been working on a war footing and that there is no alternative but to work in the peak hours to ensure major roads are upgraded within next three days.

The two-day BIMSTEC Summit starts August 30. Leaders and delegations of participating countries arrive Wednesday onwards.

The Meteorological Forecasting Division of Department of Hydrology and Meteorology has forecast drizzle over the Kathmandu valley for the next three days making beautification works further difficult.

“The rainfall has posed serious challenge in getting roads upgraded on time,” DoR Spokesperson Mukti Gautam said, adding that they have used bitumen emulsion on roads to ensure durability of maintenance task carried during the monsoon season.

“The use of bitumen emulsion allows conducting repair work during the light rain and does not take long to set.”

The DoR is working on a war-footing to upgrade status of the Airport, New Baneshwor, Thapathali, Teku and Soaltee Mode roads as head of states and governments from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand will stay at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza.

Road sections in Tripureshwar - Maharajgunj, Shinamangal - Ratnapark, Ring Road and roads leading to Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur Durbar Square have been put on rush schedule.

The roads leading to Gokarna Forest Resort in Thali, Kathmandu where the BIMSTEC leaders would be taken for a retreat, however, is unlikely to be maintained within the stipulated time.

A Home Ministry official told the Post that the leaders are most likely to be taken to the venue via helicopter or the venue might be altered.

The Home Ministry source added that the torrential rain in Kathmandu has also increased security vulnerability and that the use of security force is likely to be increased.

 

S Lanka, Myanmar leaders to visit Lumbini

KATHMANDU: President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena and President of Myanmar Win Myint have confirmed their visit to Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha on the sidelines of BIMSTEC Summit, a Home Ministry official confirmed.

According to the ministry source, President Myint will visit Lumbini before the summit while President Sirisena is scheduled to visit after the conclusion of the event.

Security arrangements are being made to guard the leaders during their visit to the Rupandehi district in Province 5. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Pashupatinath on Friday morning. Modi is scheduled to inaugurate an India- funded Dharmashala built at the temple premises after offering prayer at the Pashupatinath temple.

Published: 26-08-2018 07:13

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