Direct links between Khotang, Kathmandu, and the plains have been severed after rising water levels in the Dudhkoshi and Sunkoshi rivers made it necessary to remove the bailey bridges over the rivers.
With no permanent bridges over the rivers, the bailey bridges over the Dudhkoshi River at Jayaramghat on the border of Khotang and Okhaldhunga, and over the Sunkoshi River at Phoksingtar on the border of Khotang and Udayapur, used to facilitate direct transport to the Capital and Tarai respectively.
The bridges that were installed in January this year are now being removed with the onset of the monsoon. While works for removal of the bridge over the Sunkoshi River started a week ago, the bridge over the Dudhkoshi River was removed yesterday.
The removal of bridges, however, has caused a problem for people in the hilly districts.
“Though contracts for concrete bridges over the rivers were struck long ago, the contractors haven’t done anything to complete the projects in time,” said Khotang Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Rajendra Layalu.
According to him, Khotang has to bear a loss of approximately Rs 50 million due to lack of reliable bridges over the rivers.
Local Development Officer of Khotang Nishchal Raj Pande also bemoaned the rupture in transport link.
“Besides human movement, lack of bridges here during monsoon affects a number of sectors, from development to business and industry,” he said, adding that a number of development projects in the district had been hampered due to difficulty in bringing in construction materials and other materials for the projects.
Meanwhile, the midsection of a bailey bridge that links Khotang and Udahyapur over the Sunkoshi river, at Phoksingtar fell into the river while being removed yesterday as efforts are on to salvage the part of the bridge.