Kathmandu, April 6, 2016: Despite many of the commitments expressed by PM KP Sharma Oli remaining unsure of completion, the project to replace wire crossings over the rivers in the country with foot bridges is likely to be implemented.
The first meeting of Ministerial Council under Oli government had announced to replace all tuin [local name for the wire crossings] with suspension trail bridges in the remote hills. Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads, Suspension Bridge Division under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) has already replaced three such precarious crossings with suspension bridges while nine are under construction.
As per the Division Chief Kumar Thapa, tender has already been announced for 42 such bridges while the work on appointing consultants for the preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) for 101 other such bridges is ongoing on full swing.
As per him, 37 such types of temporary crossings are in use as of now. Among these, there are 171 cable wires, 32 wooden bridges, 22 bamboo crossings and 12 tyre tubes. People are forced to use perilous cable wire bridges at many places over the River for want of suspension bridges.
â€˜It is pretty sure that 171 cable crossings will be replaced within this Octoberâ€™ said Thapa. â€˜For this, Ministry of Finance (MoF) and National Planning Commission have already approved the project and while technicians have been working on full swing. We have put this in high priorityâ€™, he further said.
To replace wire crossings with bridges, MoF has already allocated the budget of 2.47 billion. Division Chief Thapa said that it would cost even less while tendering after completion of DPR. Suspension bridges requiring poles at both the ends (N type) would cost an average of 75 thousand Rupees while those without poles would cost about 40 thousands.
In the same way, out of nine, one tuin located at Jaljibi over Mahakali River at Nepal-India border has already been removed. Thapa said that they have requested the Indian Embassy in writing through Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) to remove the wire crossings at different places like Panchesworghat, Kalagad, Badugau, Basedi, Tirkam, Barati, Baku and Lali area of Baitadi district. Prior permission of the other country (India) is a must before constructing suspension bridges replacing tuins across two countries.
As per Thapa, around 1800 people would be crossing the river on daily basis constructed through a single bridge constructed after replacing a tuin. As of now, 160 million people in the rural area of Nepal have been benefitted with the 6,000 suspension bridges constructed in various parts of the country.
Among these, 47 percent of the suspension bridges are used by school children for safe travel. Study by the division has shown an increase in students by 22 percent going to schools across the river. In the same way there has been 32 percent rise in the number of people going to avail health facilities available across the river.
Source: Annapurna Post