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Road-broadening initiative a bumpy ride



KATHMANDU: The Kathmandu Valley Town Development Implementation Committee (KVTDIC) has said it will take another two-and-a-half-years to complete the road-widening initiative. KVTDIC has so far demolished illegal structures along a stretch having the total length of 160-km stretch. It aims to widen 508 km of road in the Capital, including 10 km in Bhaktapur and about 80 km in Lalitpur.

“I have been informed that stretches having total length of 20 to 22 km have been blacktopped and work on other 86 roads is underway,” said KVTDIC Chief Bhaikaji Tiwarl. “If the government had been serious, the task would have completed by now,” said Tiwari, adding that delay in reconstruction hampered the demolition process. Tiwari said money was not a problem as the government had provided the budget on time.

Though roads have been widened in every nook and corner of the City, people have been facing troubles walking on demolished roads. The blame-game among the concerned authorities has also hindered the road expansion drive, he added. According to Tiwari, Nepal Electricity Authority, Nepal Telecom, Nepal Drinking Water Supply Corporation and house-owners have been blaming each other for the delay in reconstruction to hide their own shortcomings.

Bandhs and strikes, scarcity of petroleum products and rainfall are other major obstacles facing the road-widening programme, according to KVTDIC. Tiwari said re-installation of water pipes buried under the roads during the Rana regime and expansion of water outlets in the city were other challenges. Cable wires and electricity wires are also creating problems for the project, he added. Tiwari expressed hope that the road expansion campaign will be completed in the next 2.5 years, if they receive support from all concerned sectors.

Regmi warns officials

KATHMANDU: Chairman of the interim election government, Khil Raj Regmi, on Wednesday threatened to take action against officials concerned in the event of delay in the road-widening initiative going on in the Kathmandu Valley. He directed officials to patch up potholes, construct footpaths, relocate the drainage system and power supply lines and gravel the expanded roads within August 31. Speaking during a meeting held with government officials, Regmi expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in reconstruction works. Finance Minister Shanka Koirala said his ministry will allocate adequate resources for this purpose.

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