Kathmandu, November 30, 2016:Â The government has so far replaced eight Tuins (traditional wire river crossings) with safer and more durable suspension bridges in six districts since October last year.
The KP Sharma Oli-led government had decided to replace all 171 dilapidated and unsafe Tuins with suspension and suspended trail bridges in remote districts that lack other forms of transport infrastructure.
Though the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) had initially announced a total of 171 tuins would be replaced with suspension bridges, the number was later revised to 146.
A feasibility study by the Suspension Bridge Division under the ministry found that 29 tuins were either found to be unfeasible due to the remoteness or availability of alternate options, including roads in the areas.
According to Humakanta Mishra, an official with the division, 108 suspension bridges are under construction of which the Suspension Bridge Division is handling 52 and the respective District Development Committee (DDCs) are looking after the construction of the remaining bridges. Agreements to replace 21 tuins are in the final stage.
â€œThough the tender process and finalisation of agreements took longer, we are hopeful of completing the projects within the stipulated time next year,â€ said Mishra. The government has allocated Rs1.21 billion so far to replace tuins with suspension and suspended trail bridges.
Due to unique topography and lack of access to road networks, the traditional wire crossings over the rivers have been used in many rural villages to facilitate movement from one place to another given the unique topography and lack of access to road networks.
However, safety measures were compromised in traditional wire crossings, according to Mishra, that led the technical experts in Nepal to work towards safer and more durable transportation infrastructure in rural areas and introduce suspension bridges. There are around 6,500 trails bridges across the country currently and the government targets to add 365 trail bridges each year.