September 22, 2016 :Â The Narayangad-Muglin road section, which is more often than not the bane of travellers, may see some improvement in coming days, officials said.
With the Dashain festival just round the corner, more people will be travelling through the 36-kilometre stretch which is littered with potholes and is vulnerable to landslides at many places.
Authorities have said they are expediting works to repair the road in view of the Dashain festival. Travellers have been facing a hard time due to ongoing road upgradation and expansion drive.
Chitwan District Administration Office (DAO) on Tuesday directed the construction companies to repair the potholes and gravel the road section within a week.
Chief District Officer Binod Prakash Singh issued the directive following a meeting with traffic police, officials from Department of Roads and construction companies.
â€œI have asked the contractors to stop drilling, breaking or blasting rocks at landslide-affected areas until the Chhath festival,â€ said Singh.
Hours of traffic jam along the stretch has perennially been a cause of annoyance for travellers. According to Rajan Bhetwal, chief of District Traffic Police Office, Chitwan, his office is planning to put in place some measures to ensure that vehicles cross the road section within an hour.
Traffic police have identified 32 points as vulnerable to landslides where traffic is usually held up.
â€œWe have been constructing concrete parapets and gabion walls in all those places. We are also mobilising police personnel where there is risk of landslides,â€ said Chandra Narayan Yadav, chief of the Narayangad-Muglin Road Construction Project. The Narayangad-Muglin road section experiences the heaviest traffic load in the country, accounting for 90 percent of Nepalâ€™s total internal traffic. More than 20,000 vehicles ply the highway every day.
The highway widening drive is being carried out under the Nepal-India Regional Trade and Transport Project which is expected to cut travel time considerably. The World Bank has provided Rs3 billion aid package for the project. The current width of the road is 5.5 metres and it is going to be expanded to a double-lane road with a width of 9 to 11 meters.
The road widening project, which started in June last year, was initially expected to be completed by September next year. However, only 25.6 percent of work has been completed so far.
Three construction companiesâ€”Rautahat Construction, Lama Construction and Shrestha Constructionâ€”are involved in the upgradation and widening of the road.