The Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers today said it has set a target of blacktopping 111-km road stretches by mid-July.
The OPMCM directed the concerned officials and contractors to speed up blacktopping work meet the target.
Krishna Hari Baskota, Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, made the progress report public after carrying out on-site inspections and monitoring of the expanded roads in the Kathmandu Valley. Baskota, also the coordinator of the Kathmandu Valley Road Expansion High-Level Monitoring Committee, said 86 km of expanded roads have been metalled since the initiative began in 2012.
The Department of Roads has blacktopped roads totalling 65-km road, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City has completed 17-km stretch and High Powered Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilisation has completed four-km road section till date. The authorities are now need to blacktop an additional of 25-km road stretches.
The inspection and monitoring team led by Baskota first visited Maitighar-Tinkune road section and directed contractors that the road be completed on time. “The officials and contractors should also initiate the construction of two eight-lane bridges in Bijuli Bazaar and Tinkune without any delay,” he said.
The government authorities have not yet started upgrading the existing bridges or constructing new ones while working on a project to turn the 2.66-km Maitighar-Tinkune road into an eight-lane artery. Though the Maitighar-Tinkune stretch has now become an eight-lane road, four-lane bridges above Dhobi Khola and Bagmati River in Bijuli Bazaar and Tinkune have not been widened, causing a bottleneck.
Baskota also directed them to plant trees for the promotion of greenery along the newly expanded roads. After inspecting Sinamangal-Bagbazaar section, Shyam Kharel, Chief of the Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project, informed that the road will be completed within next four months. Kishor Thapa, Secretary at the Ministry of Urban Development, said utility lines of Melamchi Drinking Water Project were being laid along the road section.
After inspecting Kamal Pokhari-Jaya Nepal road section, Kharel said that preparations for the blacktopping of the stretch were complete.
“We will be able to metal the road within a couple of days provided there is no rainfall,” he said.
The monitoring team also visited Lazimpat-Budhanilkantha, Balkhu and Ratopul road sections to take stock of the work progress. He expressed concern about the delay in completing the roads.
Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation, warned construction officials and contractors of action if they were found negligent about the reconstruction work.
The team was also concerned about digging Maitidevi road to lay the utility lines within six months of its blacktopping due to lack of coordination and collaboration between the concerned agencies. Normally, any blacktopped roads should not be dug up for laying of utility pipes before one year of its construction.
The OPMCM urged the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Information and Communications and Ministry of Energy to work in close coordination.