Kathmandu, February 18, 2017:Â The Bhagwati Bahal-Bal Mandir road at Naxal has reopened after being shut down for 39 days when a section caved in due to digging at a construction site nearby.
The busy thoroughfare in downtown Kathmandu has been sealed off since January 9 after part of it was swallowed by a 25-metre-deep sinkhole that opened up following deep excavations at the construction site of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel nearby. The five-star property is being developed by Jagadamba Hospitality, a subsidiary of the Shanker Group.
The Department of Roads (DoR) had said that one lane of the restored road would be opened to permit one-way motor traffic, but it has allowed two-way traffic to operate on it. â€œWe have wrap-ped up the repair work, and traffic resumed from Thur-sday evening,â€ said Shahil Agrawal, managing director of the Shanker Group. â€œWe are now working on the pedestrian lane.â€ According to Agrawal, they are planning to complete the entire repair work within a week.
The DoR said that construction crews had been working from 4:00 am to 8:00 pm daily to have the damaged road back in operation within the stipulated time. Traffic disruption in the locality has eased after the road reopened, and motorists do not have to make detours anymore.
A three-member committee formed by the government under Ayodhya Shrestha, regional director of the Central Road Directorate of the DoR, to probe the cave-in concluded that the mishap occurred even though the developer had taken proper safety measures.
According to the panelâ€™s report, the developer had designed the construction project based on a study which stated that the land at the construction site was dry. However, the soil became wet after the underground sewage system and drinking water pipelines broke, leading to the cave-in.
Meanwhile, following complaints by neighbouring homeowners that cracks had developed in their houses due to the construction work, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has directed the Shanker Group to stop work until things could be sorted out. KMC has stated that it is in touch with the project developer, and that it has agreed to pay compensation for the damage caused to adjacent properties.
DoubleTree by Hilton is a hotel chain operated by Hilton Hotel and Resorts, one of the largest hotel chains in the world. The hotel being constructed in Naxal is spread over an area of five ropanis of land. It will have 138 rooms and an underground parking space for 120 four-wheelers and 200 two-wheelers.