Road expansion work along a busy Baagbazar-Putalisadak stretch finally seems to be gathering pace.
Workers can be seen digging for installing sewerage pipelines, making support walls for pavements and demolishing illegally constructed buildings along the road. The entire street is currently strewn with construction materials and pipes for sewerage.
Department of Roads (DoR) had been planning to push through the road expansion work along the stretch since last year, but it could not move ahead with its plan as local residents opposed the attempts to demolish illegal structures.
“Even now, some house owners are refusing to demolish their buildings. But we are not going to stop this time. The road will be expanded by the end of this fiscal year at any cost,” informed Prabhat Kumar Jha, chief of the Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project (KVRIP) under DoR.
He said that the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority (KVDA) is going to demolish the remaining illegal structures by the next week and pave way to carry out the construction work.
Baagbazar-Putalisadak road is one of the busiest stretches of the capital. The already narrow road has grown slimmer with workers digging it from both sides and construction materials dumped haphazardly, forcing commuters to endure protracted traffic jams on a daily basis. Similarly, in lack of proper walkways, even pedestrians are compelled to undergo hassles risking their life and limbs.
The road is being expanded up to 10 meter from the existing 6 meter and will have 2 meter wide footpaths on both sides.
Currently, the KVRIP and the Project Implementation Directorate (PID) of the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) is working to install pipelines for Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP) and sewerage system.
In order to avoid traffic jams on the road stretch, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) has been diverting public vehicles to other routes.
SP Basanta Panta, spokesperson of MTPD, said that only private vehicles have been allowed on the road.
Likewise, the road construction work along Putalisadak-Maitidevi-Purano Baneshwar-Sinamangal stretch is also moving on rapidly.
The road section has meant nothing but hardship for commuters for the last one-and-a-half years.
“The pain faced by commuters and locals will be over by the end of the fiscal year,” said Jha.