Dept of roads tarmacking streets sans clearing utility poles, pipelines

Amid mounting public criticism, road officials say three utility agencies are hindering the project’s progress

Dec 16, 2018-The Department of Roads has started blacktopping the newly expanded roads in the Kathmandu Valley without clearing the utility poles and water pipelines.

The department decided to go ahead with the road tarmacking work as Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited and Nepal Telecom showed no urgency to shift the electricity poles, cables and pipelines.

While the department has been facing public criticism for the delay in completion of road expansion work, the department officials said it was the three utility agencies hindering the project’s progress.  

Mukti Gautam, the department’s spokesperson, said the blacktopping work was also started to mount pressure on the utility service providers to act faster.

“The department could not keep the contractor idle for any longer on the account of the utility agencies failing to clear the poles and pipelines from the road,” he added.

The department has completed tarmacking the Golkhupakha-Gongabu Road, Gongabu-Baniyatar Road, Panchakumari Road at Bhimsegola area, Shantinagar-Old Baneshwor Road, Dhara Marga at Bishalnagar, Bhakti Thapa Marga at Okharbot and a road stretch at Milanchowk.

The Golkhupakha-Gongabu road has the highest number of electricity poles that need to be cleared.

“We have been asking the NEA to clear the poles, transformers and wires to expand the road, but to no avail. So we have instructed the contractors to get on with the work,” Gautam said.

According to the NEA, it has already cleared the poles and transformers wherever the right of way is clear.

“Delay is taking place only at those places where the right of the way has not been cleared, said Prawal Adhikari, the NEA spokesperson, adding that the authority has accorded high priority to clearing of utility poles to facilitate the road exapansion work.

Ram Bahadur Gurung of the Division Road Office, Kathmandu-1, said as many as 500 electricity poles, 25 transformers and 350 telephone poles fall on the newly expanded roads.

Published: 16-12-2018 07:47

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