One of the major arteries of the nation’s transport network connecting the Capital with Tarai districts, the Narayanghat-Mugling road stretch running alongside the Trishuli river is all set to be widened.
The tender process for the road widening project under Nepal-India Regional Trade and Transport Project (NIRTTP) has already been completed. The road is set to be widened to facilitate fast-paced two-way transportation. Funded by World Bank (WB), the $99 million NIRTTP is expected to considerably reduce the transport time and logistical costs for bilateral trade between the two neighbours Nepal and India and transit trade along the Kathmandu-Kolkata corridor.
A joint venture of Nepali and Indian construction companies is slated to begin work on widening the road stretch within one and a half months. The project, which is scheduled to be completed within the next two years (April, 2017) will upgrade and expand the 33km section of the Narayanghat-Mugling road to the Asian Highway standard and address road safety, axle load control and environmental sustainability issues along the trade corridor. .
Following completion of the project, it will take just half an hour for heavy vehicles to pass through the section. Due to the dilapidated condition of the road stretch at present, it takes an hour for all kinds of vehicles to cross through the stretch, while scores of lives are lost in accidents occurring annually in the section. According to Shiva Prasad Nepal, chief of the NIRTTP, Mugling, under the foreign cooperation branch of the Department of Roads (DoR), the road stretch spanning 33.2 kms will be constructed in three phases.
The road section that is 6-7 metres wide at present will be expanded to double lane road with a width of 9-11 metres upon completion, project sources informed. As per the project, the road section from Aanptari, Chitwan to Jugedi will be expanded by up to 11 metres while the remaining portion will be widened by up to nine metres. “In sections without room for expansion, the road will remain 7 metres wide,” Nepal said. According to him, in places with limited room for expansion, a separate metre wide lane for bicyclists and pedestrians will be constructed.
The government had started reconstruction project through a separate project after the repair work on the road did not even last for four months. The road had been in a dilapidated condition since the past decade due to the contractor’s negligence, ineffective supervision and inadequate budget allocation. The DoR had been spending Rs 5 million every year for repairs on the road section alone.