Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Monday inaugurated the newly constructed Koshi Bridge in Chatara of Sunsari District, restoring mass connectivity and economic activities in the eastern development region and directly benefitting the three districts of Sunsari, Saptari and Udaypur.
The bridge was built with the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB) as an alternative to the Koshi Barrage which was severely damaged by the monsoon floods of 2008. The 261.3-meter-long and 7.5-meter-wide bridge was built at the cost of $11 million, as a part of the Emergency Flood Damage Rehabilitation Project.
“The Koshi Bridge serves as an important strategic link in expanding transport connectivity within the country and beyond, including with India and Bangladesh. This reduces future risk from similar flood disasters, and is an application of the concept of build back better. With mutual efforts by the Government and ADB, the bridge was completed within the scheduled time of three and half years. The project is now successfully completed by restoring livelihoods and building resilience,” said ADB’s Country Director for Nepal, Kenichi Yokoyama.
“As an alternate route, the bridge not only ensures the East-West highway is passable year round, but also directly benefits the people of Udaypur, Saptari, Khotang, Sunsari and Dhankuta. The bridge will also open economic growth opportunities by connecting the two important business hubs of Dharan in the east and Hetauda in the central region,” said Tulasi Sitaula, Secretary of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport.
The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport executed the project and the Department of Roads implemented the bridge sub-project.