Kathmandu, Dec 5: The Pushpalal (Mid-hill) Highway has made 64 per cent progress in one and a half decades since its construction was begun.
The construction of this highway was started in 2064/65 BS. This roadway connects 215 settlements of 26 districts in the hilly region of the country.
The 1,879 kilometres long roadway stretches from Chiyo Bhanjyang of Panchthar district in east Nepal to Jhulaghat of Baitadi district in the Farwest.
Nearly 10 million population would be directly benefited upon the completion of this highway, it is said.
Although six years have elapsed since the first deadline of this road project was terminated, there is still confusion regarding the alignment of the roadway at several places.
Project Information Officer Suraj Adhikari said that there is still confusion regarding the alignment of the road near the Budhigandaki High-dam Multipurpose Project site. According to him, before this, the alignment of the highway was along the Budhigandaki River in the Gorkha district but the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources has written to the project that it was planning to construct the Budhigandaki High-dam Multipurpose Project at the site.
He said although there was confusion regarding the highway's alignment in Kaski until some time back, this has been resolved now. Adhikari added that nearly 415 kilometres of road and 25 bridges remain to be constructed under the Mid-hill Highway Project. Out of the remaining works, the contract still remains to be signed for the construction of 205 kilometres of road and 19 bridges.
The Highway Project has stated that the contract has to be managed for the black-topping of 357 kilometres of the highway, for the construction of 18 bridges and for the construction of 134.5 kilometres of road in the current fiscal year alone.
Although the extended deadline for completion of the project terminates by the end of the current fiscal year, it is unlikely that even the contracting process for the remaining works would be completed by that time.
The alignment of the road has been altered in one section of the highway in the Kaski district by a decision of the Council of Ministers. Adhikari, the Project Information Officer, said that the process has been forwarded for the contract for the construction of a road on the Bhainse-Jyamdu-Melbot-Panighat-Aantighar-Armalakot-Kalikhola Bridge-Amala Bisauni-Lamachaur-Jaubari-Yamdi Bridge section. This is 38 kilometres long section.
He added that the Ministry of Energy has sent a letter to the Project to go ahead with the construction of the highway in the Budhigandaki section as it will take 7/8 years more for the construction of the Budhigandaki Reservoir Multi-purpose Project.
The Highway Project has forwarded the process for construction of the road even in the sections for which the contract still remains to be signed. He said the contract process has been forwarded for the construction works at Bahunepati of Sindhupalchok and in the Kaski section of the highway. (RSS)